On the evening of April 20th, Beijing time, it was reported that Netflix’s online video market share was shrinking. This is a summary from the two latest reports released last week. The first report comes from Parrot Analytics, a startup that evaluates the interest of viewers of online TV series. According to Parrot, in the first quarter of 2021, half of the original dramas that global audiences want to watch come from Netflix.
Although Netflix is still far ahead, its market share is already declining. Two years ago, Netflix accounted for 64.6% of the original dramas that audiences wanted to watch.
In the United States, the downward trend is even more pronounced. Netflix accounted for only 48.1% of the demand for original dramas, which fell below 50% for the first time. (This may also be related to the more limited output of Netflix in the first quarter of this year, but it is still not enough to explain the trend in the past two years.)
And another report from Ampere Analysis also describes a similar situation. Netflix’s subscriber share in the United States has fallen by 31% in one year.
After you have read these two reports, you may believe that everything is over. The long-awaited Netflix curtain call has finally arrived. The traditional media has repelled the disruptors, and we can go back to the age of worshipping “Mouse House.”
However, do these numbers really represent the curtain call for Netflix? Although the fear of Netflix becoming the next technology monopoly has never ceased, Netflix has never become the only online video network people use. Google-one of the true monopolies-can monopolize the search field because it has access to all the relevant information it needs. Google uses all your search records to improve better and better search results, and then build increasingly sophisticated products.
Netflix will never be able to access every TV show or movie. In fact, the categories of programs that Netflix can access are decreasing, as the company is gradually moving from a technology company that distributes programs that people love to an entertainment company that produces exclusive content. Now, Netflix has indeed become an entertainment company, but at the same time it cannot become a monopoly. No company can monopolize creativity, and it is better than Disney.
Data from Parrot and Ampere shows that Netflix, which once dominated the market, is now facing competitive pressure from all parties, including Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Discovery+, Amazon and Hulu, and so on. The number of users watching online video is unprecedented, and Netflix is not their only choice .
The following is a list of the episodes that audiences most want to watch in the first quarter. Of the ten dramas, Netflix accounted for seven, while Disney + and Amazon each have their own shows on the list. Disney + even dominated the first and second place on the list.
The real question for which the data does not give an answer is actually: Does the decrease in share really mean that users’ interest in Netflix is also decreasing? We know that people watch fewer live TV programs, and there are fewer cable and satellite TV users. We also know that more and more people are watching more and more online videos.
However, as people abandon cable and satellite TV in favor of streaming, do they watch online videos on multiple platforms or reduce the length of time spent on Netflix? If their watch time on Netflix decreases, then maybe they will cancel their subscription. For Netflix, this is the real bad news.
Netflix denied this claim. In its recent earnings report, Netflix stated that the length of time ordinary users spend on Netflix is increasing. The good news is that Netflix will release its new quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, and we can learn more by then.