Letter to Netflix: Why increase prices but cancel our fave shows?
Dear Netflix, we love you, but sometimes you drive us crazy – and not in a good way. You make so much content available to us and even make new content that we have absolutely fallen in love with on more than one occasion. So, why in the world do you cancel these shows before their stories are done?
We know you’re a business, this isn’t lost on us. We understand that making money is a priority, but you know what else should be a priority? Telling good stories. You are a storytelling platform after all, maybe act like it sometimes? Sincerely, your dismayed users.
Okay, now that we’ve attempted guilt tripping the Netflix higher-ups who will likely never read this, let’s talk about Netflix’s itchy trigger finger with more precision. It’s not a secret the streaming giant has a bad habit of canning well-liked – sometimes even loved – shows in their infancy.
What’s even more frustrating is they continue to increase their prices. So, why are they doing this, and is there a way to prevent good shows from landing in Netflix’s crosshairs? Let’s take a look.
Predicted price increases
Recently there have been rumors floating about that Netflix is intending to surprise subscribers with another price hike. Often, these rumors prove themselves to be true. What’s funny is most people would likely assume the company is upping the price because they’re in need of money or because their costs have seen an increase.
However, this assumption is wrong. Many believe Netflix (and likely other companies) increase their prices when they anticipate more sales – or in this case subscriptions. Netflix isn’t super transparent about their numbers, but thanks to the pandemic they’ve seen some pretty hearty numbers, and if they are increasing prices soon, then it seems they expect this to continue.
Why the cancelations?
So, back to the distressing question at hand – why is Netflix canceling shows if they’re increasing their profits so much?
You may have noticed a very specific trend that most shows getting canceled too soon have only had one or two seasons. The most recent example is Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, this show was canceled after one season despite winning an Emmy just days before. Others were so outraged when One Day at a Time got the axe not so long ago that a regular network station picked the sitcom up.
It turns out there’s a reason for these well loved shows seeing an untimely demise. In order to make Netflix a desirable platform for creators, the streaming giant boasts paying for all production costs and providing an extra 30%. That’s just free money. On top of this, every new season provides producers with bigger bonuses & raises. This means each new season is substantially more expensive than the previous one.
So, if a series isn’t showing the ability to draw in new customers then the cost of making it may not seem worth it. A smaller dedicated fanbase that keeps rewatching isn’t as relevant as it might be to a network because Netflix doesn’t have ads.
Without subscriptions they aren’t profiting. Creating a new show, which would be cheaper and has more potential to draw in new customers, is ultimately more appealing to Netflix than a well done show with a dedicated fan base that isn’t growing.
Keeping your show alive
If you have a Netflix show that you love and don’t want to see canceled there is one thing you can do: binge watch.
One of Netflix’s biggest metrics – at least as far as anyone can tell, like we said, they aren’t super transparent – is whether or not the entirety of a new season is being watched in the first month of release.
Other important figures are the number of people who start the show in its first week on the platform & the number of people who finish the whole season in general. If you start the latest season of your favorite Netflix show the week it comes out and finish it before it’s been on the platform for a month, that is the most helpful thing you can do.
We admit, this sounds an awful lot like turning escapism and decompression into a stressful piece of homework as you try to help your beloved shows avoid cancelation, but this is apparently our sad reality. Although, the sooner you watch the show the less you have to worry about spoilers – we learned this one the hard way.