Netflix CEO: Linear TV is Dying and ‘Stranger Things’ Is Speeding Up the Process
The fourth season of “Stranger Things” is not only making waves in the streaming world, but also settling some for its streaming home as well. Netflix co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings praised the show for helping create a stable second quarter during the company’s video interview following the release of its Q2 2022 earnings report.
Despite the fact that the world’s largest streamer lost an additional 970,000 subscribers — on top of the 200k in Q1 — Hastings was bullish on the company’s future, and that of the streaming industry at large. The exec indicated that he believes that linear TV is going the way of the dodo, a mantra the entrepreneur has been repeating for some time.
Hastings has been predicting the death of linear TV (cable, satellite and similar providers) since 2014, believing the bells will toll for such obsolete services by 2030. The Q2 report seemed to back up his assertion to a certain degree, and it also provided Netflix an opportunity to boast about its continued dominance. According to the report, the streamer garnered over 1.3 billion hours viewed, keeping a lot of eyes on screens thanks to “Stranger Things,” the final season of “Ozark,” and other binge-worthy programs. The large share of TV viewership dwarfs its competition, which should make investors feel better about the downturn the company took in the first quarter of this year.
Netflix suffered a huge setback during Q1, losing a staggering 200K subscribers thanks in part to price hikes and shuttering its Russian service. Data suggests that the streamer would continue to shed customers through Q2, with an estimated 2 million more dropping the service. However, the lower-than-expected churn surprised investors, with less than half that amount leaving Netflix.
While a drop of roughly one million instead of two million is certainly a win for the company, Hastings feels that it’s an even better sign of things to come. As the streamer recently announced cutting back on content budget increases and with the launch of its ad-supported tier in early 2023, the exec believes Netflix is in a stable position moving forward. While the streamer continues to hold firm to the No. 1 streaming spot, only the future will tell how long Netflix will have to contend with the traditional linear experience.
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