Why is Netflix Losing Users?
On paper, Netflix operates on a fool-proof principle that operates with total synchronicity with the needs of today’s generation.
You get all sorts of content from your sofa, and you can watch all the episodes at once without having to wait for the next week.
Because as we all know, delayed gratification is a rare commodity these days.
Although it initially took the world by storm, it then started to stagnate to the point it’s bleeding customers month after month.
Many have speculated about the reasons, but one theory seems to hold a little more than the others.
That theory has it that the algorithm is to blame. The echo-chamber algorithm to be exact.
Or in other words, Netflix is bleeding consumers for some of the same reasons why Facebook is.
Back in the day, Facebook used to be that app where you could interact with everyone you knew, keep up with all your friends, family and acquaintances and influencers used to have their content seen by anybody who followed them.
Fast forward to 2012 when Facebook just started testing their echo-chamber algorithm to make sure that everyone could only hear one side of the story around one type of content.
Pigeonholing so to speak.
So if you’re a partisan of a certain political party, then all that you would start seeing in your feed is content that supports your views, limits you to the dangers of the single-narrative and above all, content that makes you hate those who shared a different opinion.
And slowly but surely, the rest of your hobbies would start disappearing from your feed, so would your friends who aren’t that politically motivated… Until one day where all that would be left is the bubble.
The echo-chamber you’re confined to is now starting to consume you. And now you’re the consumer and the product at the same time.
From the point of view of Facebook, it made sense financially.
They were starting to shape the minds of their users into of all sorts hardcore-believers across countless different niches. And we all know that hardcore believers make the best kind of consumers.
Though what that did to the fabric of society is a different story. They carved a deep wound of divide that would probably take years to heal. But I’m digressing.
Now, what does that have to do with Netflix?
Netflix seems to have taken a few pages off of Facebook’s manual, but the problem is they’ve implemented something that is just not suitable to a streaming service of this caliber.
You see, they implemented the echo-chamber algorithm in an era where there is an abundance of movies and TV shows like we’ve never seen in history.
The last thing you want is for your users to get stuck between the same damn suggestions time and time again because they do have other choices a the tip of their fingers.
Unlike social media where people never get tired of hearing the same person complaining and bitching all day long about immigrants or conservatives or liberals or vegans, meat eaters, flat earth believers or non-believers…
There are so many flavors of hate out there, and all they require is a microphone or keyboard.
But for movies and series, this is an entire story altogether. Not only these productions require a lot of time, effort and money (and impressive amounts of creativity) but you cannot expect people to watch the same things over and over again.
While echo-chamber system worked for Facebook, Netflix should realize that things that may have worked for other companies might not work for everybody.
Because at the end of the day, the reason people are leaving is because they have nothing new to watch and so inevitably they seek entertainment elsewhere.
That’s my take on it at least, but I’m curious about your opinion. What do you think about this whole Netflix thing?