On Tuesday morning, The Ringer published an article titled “Netflix Needs to Earn Its Price Hike.” Of course, I franticly clicked on the article to see if the most popular streaming service in the world decided to charge me an extra buck to watch the new season of Stranger Things. And my worst fear was realized.
“If you missed the news, Netflix is raising the price of its standard $10-per-month plan to $11 for existing subscribers come November (new subscribers must pay the higher fee immediately).” — The Ringer
What a devastating blow to the bank account. Might have to put in a little more work this month in order to fund the Netflix addiction. I’m really unsure if I would be able to fall asleep at night without The Office playing in the background (I’ve now seen every episode at least nine times). And don’t forget, in order to ‘Netflix and chill,’ you actually need access to Netflix. That’s just part of the deal. Hulu or HBO Go simply isn’t good enough, you need the real thing.
Really, $1 is not a big deal. I’m happy to oblige. Netflix has been around for so long now it’s hard to imagine a life without it. Really the only reason to still have cable is to livestream news, sports, and other live shows like American Idol. If Netflix gets going with that type of streaming and original content, network executives might start shaking in their boots (if they’re not already). Cable is losing subscriptions by the second because we’re forced to pay hundreds of dollars to watch a few channels we like or need while the other hundreds of channels are absolutely useless. It’s crazy to me, just scrolling through my TV guide, that people actually watch some of this garbage. Like Dance Moms. It’s tough to make it through five minutes of watching those moms destroy their daughters lives at such a young age. But it must play to a large audience as they just premiered the 8th season in August. Sometimes you can’t help but to be ashamed of America, and Dance Moms making it to season 8 is one of those times.
So that extra dollar REALLY is not a big deal. For no commercials and being able to watch whatever I want on the platform at any time, that’s a bargain. Don’t tell Netflix executives this, but I think I would be willing to pay double that price and I would still say the value is there.
But take that extra dollar and spread it across 56.48 million subscribers and that adds to $56.48 million more in revenue every month. So what exactly does Netflix plan on doing with all of that extra money we’ll surely be happy to spend? More original content.
“Original content is now about 25% of the company’s programming budget. The long-term trends are clear, our future largely lies in exclusive original content. We’ll spend $7-8 billion on content in 2018.” — Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix
In comparison, ESPN spent $7.3 billion on content last year, a company that basically solely relies on originality in content from personalities. So, for Netflix, that means more content like Stranger Things, House of Cards, The Crown, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, BoJack Horseman, Narcos, and many, many, more. Last year Netflix spent a measly $6 billion on original content. With the wild success of the aforementioned series, not including any of their original movies, it’s obvious they are doing a lot of things right with originals. So the logical thing would be to do more.
If Netflix wants to put big cable companies out of business they are going to need content that is available and only available through their service. And they’re right on track.
The company plans on releasing 80 original films next year (80!). It’s hard to even think of 80 ideas for movies that haven’t already been done yet. Even if some of the ideas are refurbished or somewhat recycled it won’t matter because anybody who has seen Netflix original content knows it when they see it. They stick out like a sore thumb because they are all unique and different from mainstream films or series. Even their documentaries have a special knack for storytelling that won’t be seen on cable. Netflix raked in 91 Emmy nominations in 2017, up from 54 in 2016, and just 20 behind perennial leader of the clubhouse HBO who drug in 111 nominations. Expect to see that Netflix number spike again in 2018 while the streaming service overtakes all cable networks in nominations.
You have to respect Netflix for putting its money where its mouth is and, instead of pocketing the extra profits like many high ranking officials in this country would, giving the people what they want. Which is MORE. And maybe they can take out that feature that condescendingly asks if you’re still watching? The answer is always yes.