Netflix started in 1997 by being a DVD company that was providing home mail to Americans on a monthly subscription basis. This service is completely unknown on the Vistula River, where only videotapes are played and then DVD rentals. Of course, you can meet them in the USA, but for residents of large American suburbs, Netflix was very convenient. While quite a few movie rentals have survived in Poland, it The Netflix email service is still operating in the USA. However, this is, of course, marginal work.
From mobile rental to streaming pioneer
A decade after its launch, Netflix has focused on streaming. The site displays serials broadcast by TV stations. And he was the one who built the streaming services market. Bought content from broadcasters and made it available without ads. In addition, it allowed customers to access the show without long-term contracts signed with pay-TV operators. Realizing that television stations would not always want to sell their content to him, Netflix began investing in the original series.
His first series was “House of Cards”, which is still associated with high-quality production. Then came the series “Orange is the news black” and other series. A phenomenon called binge-watching arose – Netflix downloaded all episodes of the next season at once, allowing users to watch them within a few days or even one day. It was fun, convenient and without ads. At the time, Netflix was associated with a higher quality alternative to television, even a premium show, which in my opinion was an exaggeration, because it had always offered a wider offering than HBO, which produced far fewer series.
The Poles waited for the site to appear in Poland, which finally happened in January 2016. Upon entering, it had almost no competition. HBO GO was only available with cable or platform bundles, and Player or ipla mainly offered Polish content from TVN or Polsat antennas, and were boycotted by ads. Netflix has developed and expanded its offering. Thanks to him, the Poles en masse watched not only American series, but also The Spanish, Swedish, French and German productions were also a hit. Local titles have been promoted by the platform globally. Polish TV series finally appeared.
Faith did not pass by the quality of the site, there was more and more content. Like users. This should mean that not all chains are linked to a high quality. Because, first of all, you can’t make a lot of great products by adding new titles every week, and secondly, since you are a bigger audience, they also expected more mass content.
Netflix, “Toy Boy” and “Chaos”
Thus, it is not surprising to complain that the quality is getting worse. But it’s not that bad. In addition to “Another 365 Days” and Spanish series B and even series C such as “Toy Boy” or “Who Killed Sarah?” Or the following modifications of Harlan Coben we can now find an example Great series about gay youth “Heartstopper”. Netflix is also announcing upcoming seasons of very good productions such as “The Crown”, “Fauda” or “Black Mirror”. In Poland, it will produce, among other things, the movie “Broad Pesk” or a remake of the adventures of Mr. Samochodzik.
Netflix is currently facing increased competition. Globally, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple +, Disney + and in the US also, for example, Peacock or Paramonut +, are battling to watch TV series and movies while streaming. There are also local players, such as Player in Poland, who are also betting big on premium series. There are also regional platforms like Viaplay, which mainly focus on sports. Disney+ is especially strong, and it’s already No. 2 in the streaming market – it has 138 million (Netflix has 222 million of them, so the feature is still huge.)
The Walt Disney Company has a huge base – its portfolio includes not only its own productions, but also Marvel, Star Wars and FOX titles. Behind HBO Max is Warner Media (now Discovery Warner Bros.), which has movie studios and TV channels.
In the first quarter of this year, Netflix lost customers for the first time in 10 years. Their number decreased by 200,000, although this was the result of leaving the Russian market after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. However, many people think that it is as a result of the deteriorating quality of the content and the high prices. Competitors compete on price more, for example, offering one-year promotional access. Thus Disney + can be purchased in Poland for 12 months for the price of eight. In contrast, HBO Max is cheaper if you don’t give it up even for a month. Netflix has no such offer.
Meanwhile, the service began making nervous moves. It just laid off 150 people, mostly creative workers. There are ideas for broadcasting live programming, although the genre is completely alien to Netflix (it’s different in the case of Disney, whose American channel ABC, for example, broadcasts “Dancing with the Stars” and will be included in the Disney+ show).
Broadcasting is not complete without ads
and advertising. These, of course, will only appear in cheaper packages, but the mere thought of boycotting the dancing yogurt spot chain might put many people off. However, it was naive to think that a live broadcast would be ad-free. Commercials have been in American Hulu for a long time. It may come as a surprise to many people that the package with advertising sites abroad contains … HBO Max. The release of ads has also been announced by Disney+. In Poland, the player is partially active in the advertising form. We will also see points on free VOD TVP or Polsat GO services. The ads are there, because not everyone wants to pay for viewing content (or pay a lot), and besides, advertisers very much want to reach users of live broadcasts (they are smaller than ordinary viewers of traditional TV, for example).
What’s Next? Netflix has a lot more competition than it did a few years ago. Therefore, it must adapt to the changes taking place in the market. However, it is better to do it with a great calculation than to panic to come up with more ideas.
I don’t believe in the massive escape of subscribers from Netflix. It has the most universal offering – it’s not closely related to a premium installment like HBO Max, or to fairy tales and superheroes like Disney+ that entered Poland on June 14. It has a variety of products for everyone. European and American, but also Asian, because he was able to promote, for example, the Korean series “Squid Game”.
Netflix is acquiring productions from local television to develop – this was the case with “Black Mirror” or “The House of Paper”, which were a worldwide hit. In addition, he can respond quickly – when the first shutdown began in 2020, he quickly bought the horror film “In the Forest Today Nobody Sleeps Asleep”, which did not appear on the big screen due to the closure of cinemas.
The application is as important as the content
And there is another thing – Very good app with great search engine. How important this is when using streaming is shown by the many complaints about the current HBO GO app, which was recently replaced in Poland by HBO Max. Despite the great featured show, many users experienced technical issues, and wanted to finally relax and watch “Game of Thrones” or “Westworld”. Kontit is king, but technology is also important.