Netflix’s Worst Showing & The Gimmick That Was CNN Plus
Issue #87 (Special Edition)
Netflix’s Worst Showing
Has the clock struck 12 on Netflix’s Cinderella story? After years of continuous growth, Netflix reported that for the first quarter of 2022, the streaming service lost 200,000 subscribers. The news went from bad to worse as it expects to lose another 2 million subscribers in the upcoming second quarter (More of that in the special edition Quick Recap section).
Those shocking numbers rattled investors sending Netflix’s stock price into a steep drop losing 39% of its value the day after its quarterly report. At the beginning of the week, Netflix’s stock was at $340, but by the end of the week, it was trading at $215.
During this period, it should be noted that Netflix reported $7.87 billion in revenue.
The streamer blamed its poor performance on the fierce competition it’s experiencing with the emergence of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other streaming options. Inflation was also mentioned as another reason for its poor performance, as was the current conflict in Ukraine.
Netflix also acknowledged that password sharing has been a thorn in its revenue-earning capability, and it’s working on limiting that. Globally, 100 million households watch Netflix using shared accounts — 30 million are located within the United States and Canada.
Netflix gave credible reasons for its poor performance, but it also failed to acknowledge other factors that may have contributed to its poor performance.
Quality: Netflix has lost its edge when it comes to quality programming. The streamer has broadened its programming approach relying more on general fares such as soap opera-style dramas and reality shows, ceding that particular strength to HBO Max and AppleTV Plus.
TikTok: Social media has been siphoning viewers away from traditional viewing options for many years, but TikTok’s impact is causing many media executives to have sleepless nights. Average use is 52 minutes per day on the platform, but it balloons to 90 minutes per day with the younger demographic.
Price Increase: Netflix raised the price on all its offerings earlier this year, with its standard tier now costing $15.49 and its 4K tier costing $19.99 making it the most expensive streaming service out there. This price increase more than likely contributed to its subscriber loss as some users may no longer be willing to pay for it on a month-to-month basis.
Netflix is still a streaming behemoth. It’s the largest streaming service out there, but if it’s encountering significant headwinds with its growth and revenue projections, what does the future hold for the smaller streamers that are still trying to find their footings?
(Al Jazeera, CNBC, Greg Isenberg/Twitter, Wall Room Media, The Verge)
NETFLIX QUICK RECAP
The Gimmick That Was CNN Plus
A lot has been said and continues to be said about CNN Plus’ short existence (The special edition Quick Recap section at the bottom has all the stories). The streaming service is expected to be shut down on April 30, and all in all, its entire lifespan would total just about four weeks.
CNN’s new parent company Warner Bros. Discovery has signaled that it wants to have one streaming service encompassing all of its products, and having CNN Plus ran against that mission. On the other hand, CNN executives countered that by having CNN Plus, they are laying the foundation for when CNN’s linear channel is freed from its cable carriage agreements and can also be streamed online.
CNN executives wanted CNN Plus to emulate the New York Times’ subscription strategy. Still, certain things about the launch and the initial execution of the streaming service made it seem they were more focused on the sizzle than the actual substance, which was its programming.
Price point: CNN Plus was priced at $5.99, but during its launch, it offered an introductory lifetime price of $2.99 as long as users didn’t cancel their subscription. This strategy garnered a lot of subscriptions in its first week, but how many of those subscribers were committed to watching the product considering that it had fewer than 10,000 viewers at a given time.
NFTs: To mark the launch of CNN Plus, CNN announced that it would be selling the first 29 seconds of the streaming service’s debut. Andrew Morse, the executive in charge of the streamer, said the launch of CNN Plus was a historic moment for the network and that it was the perfect way to celebrate the launch with digital collectors.
Ted Turner: At its lavish launch party held at its New York Hudson Yards offices, CNN Plus executives said that its first subscriber would be none other than the founder of CNN, Ted Turner. The largely symbolic move was meant to pay homage to the one that made it all possible.
Interview Club: CNN Plus launched with innovative features that were supposed to differentiate it from its linear sibling. One of those was the Interview Club, which was described as an interactive feature that enabled viewers to submit questions during and before news segments. Other subscribers could then upvote the questions, and the popular ones could receive a response from CNN talent.
The Most Important Launch: CNN Plus executives, in an effort to show value, made sure to mention to anyone within an earshot that CNN Plus was the most important launch for the network since the launch of CNN itself in 1980. This statement sidesteps the fact that CNN launched Headline News, then CNN 2, in 1982 to fend off the launch of a competing news service. There was the launch of CNN International in 1985, which gave it international exposure, and then there was the launch of CNN Digital in 1995, which established its web presence. All these launches made CNN the news powerhouse that it is today, which enabled it to launch CNN Plus.
These are not the primary reasons CNN Plus failed, but it should highlight the critical flaws in its launch strategy. They did not adequately address who CNN Plus was for and why it was needed outside of its existing linear channels and website. Instead, they resorted to gimmicks to create an impression of a value add.
(Hollywood Reporter, TVNewser, The Verge, CNN Business)
CNN PLUS QUICK RECAP
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Mike Hopkins, CBS News’ director of special events and logistics, passes away. (TVNewser)
Steward Maclean was named editor of BBC News’ BBC Newsnight. (BBC Media Centre)
Rahel Solomon joins CNN International as a global business correspondent. (CNN Press Room)
Andrew Roy becomes the new CBS News London bureau chief. (ViacomCBS Press Express)
Chris Licht reports his first official day at CNN as its chairman and CEO will be Monday, May 2. (TVNewser)
Telemundo names new anchors for its morning and late-night newscasts. (TVNewser)
With the formation of Warner Bros. Discovery, what does it mean for its Atlanta-based employees? (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Netflix is pursuing a documentary focusing on former NBA referee Tim Donaghy. (Awful Announcing)
TalkTV debuts a new set for Piers Morgan’s show ahead of its UK and Fox Nation premiere. (NewscastStudio)
Al Jazeera relaunches with updated studios and branding. (NewscastStudio)
HBO Max joins Verizon’s +Play platform. (The Streamable)
Amazon strikes streaming deals with the WNBA and Seattle Storm. (Awful Announcing)
Fox News’ Sean Hannity is cable news’ longest-running host overtaking CNN’s Larry King. (Forbes)
Warner Bros. Discovery announces its international leadership team. (Deadline)
HBO Max gains 3 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 to reach a total of 76.8 million subscribers. (Broadcasting + Cable)
Streaming reaches near 30% share of all total day viewing. (MediaPost)
NBC News Group Digital is tops again for the month of March. (NBC News Public Relations)
Fox News’ The Five is the most-watched cable news show. (Forbes)
ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos announces new hire and staff promotions. (TVNewser)
It’s official NBC Sports names its Sunday Night Football announcing crew. (NBC Sports Group Press Box)
CNN Anchor John Berman lands in hospital after taking part in the Boston Marathon. (TVNewser)
ESPN announces its 2022 NFL Draft coverage plans. (Awful Announcing)
NFL Network announces its 2022 NFL Draft coverage plans. (NFL Media/Twitter)
Apple TV Plus may emerge victorious in the NFL Sunday Ticket fight. (Pro Football Talk)
Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly says she rejected a high-paying offer from CNN. (Mediaite)
The Weather Channel launches a new weekday climate focus show, PATTRN. (TVNewser)
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A MarkHenry Media LLC publication - Issue #87 - 2022