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Streaming Is Sadder Now – The New York Times

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Floping on the couch and turning on Netflix may not be noticeable yet, but the golden age of streaming entertainment may be over. You probably don’t like what happens next.

Soon, we may pay more for less good options, feel greedy about the old days of unlimited streaming bing, and sit in a nasty commercial.

A brief explanation of this mood change: a bit of confidence in the growth potential of streaming, and suspicion has a serious spillover effect.

It all started with Netflix and an amazing disclosure earlier this year that it lost its subscribers for the first time in 10 years. On Tuesday, Netflix said it had shrunk again, though not as expected. Netflix Co-Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said the company’s performance is “not too bad.”

When the streaming reader began to stumble, it started a large question about popular streaming services.

Investors in entertainment companies and corporate bosses have begun to ask serious questions such as: Business worse than cable TV?? What if you overestimate the number of people who pay for streaming or misunderstand how fast you change your habits?

Streaming will continue to be the future of entertainment, but as I wrote earlier, the future does not always arrive in a straight line.

One investment analyst told my colleague Nicole Sperling that Netflix’s total potential market was not one billion, which Netflix had long reached, but 400 million customers worldwide. He said he believed it would be. If Netflix’s potential isn’t as spectacular as the company imagines, or it takes time to get there, it’s not just Netflix’s problem. It also shows that streaming may not be as big as optimists believed.

We don’t always have to worry when a rich company goes crazy that it’s not growing as big and fast as it sounds. But this is not the case. We benefit from inadvertent streaming optimism, and the potential mismatch between entertainment company expectations and reality impacts us.

Over the last decade, companies such as Netflix, Disney, HBO, Comcast, Apple, and Amazon have invested little profit to reach customers for streaming services. All that money could have resulted in a cheaper and better streaming video service than if there wasn’t much hope that these entertainment services would have huge and lucrative potential viewers.

If you enjoyed it when you had high expectations for streaming, the industry would Question your optimism..

Netflix and other companies say they’re still confident, but they’re not doing that. Netflix said Tuesday that it would keep its programming budget about the same for the next few years after spending a lot of money on creating and buying entertainment.

Money prudence at Netflix is ​​a new look, not just Netflix.Reporters are busy recording Budget cut Save money with the streaming industry and show cancellations. “The era of drunk sailor spending is gone,” said an entertainment agent recently. Said Bloomberg News reporter Lucas Shaw.

(For fairness, there are still drunken spending from companies that have streaming service goals other than profit, especially Apple.)

If you haven’t done so already, you’ll soon see the benefits of this rigorous streaming phase. If you’re wondering why Netflix and other streaming services release episodes of the series one at a time, or in bulk, it’s a result of growth concerns. Netflix wants to subscribe for a few months to watch the new season of Stranger Things, rather than watching all the new episodes over the weekend and then canceling.

Companies worried about growth may release “wow” shows or charge higher prices than before. Netflix says “Paid Sharing “subscription, A euphemism that charges additional charges to people who currently share one Netflix password with six cousins ​​and a pizza delivery person. When Netflix was confident in its growth, it almost ignored account sharing. not anymore.

Low-cost streaming subscriptions with commercials are popular on Hulu and HBO Max, and Netflix will give them a try. They’re an option for us to pay cheaper, but they also admit that there’s likely to be an ad-free, relatively low-cost, all-you-can-watch entertainment buffet behind us.

This sad stage of streaming can be a moment. understand. But it’s amazing to see how much it’s already changed, as streaming companies that have long expected to continue to grow rapidly have had to face the possibility that they’re wrong.

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This is A couple of pigeons snuggling up.. you’re welcome.

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