But at least it gets to hold on to a favorite TV show.
After a decade of unstoppable growth, Netflix had its worst year ever in 2022. In April alone, shares of the company dropped over 60%, becoming for a time the worst performing stock In The S&P 500.
The reasons for the drop range from the streaming industry becoming a more mature market, and perhaps hitting a natural ceiling. (Everyone who wants a Netflix subscription has probably already gotten one by this point.)
There’s also more streaming services than ever — too many, if we’re being honest. And with inflation tightening everyone’s purse strings, some tough decisions have to be made. Also, the service just has too much stuff, and not enough of it is worth watching.
But it’s also had to make some cutbacks, and this week it announced that it will be cutting back on the amount of original movies that it makes, and also combining and restructuring a number of departments. A number of units that produce small and midsize pictures were combined, resulting in the loss of jobs and the departure of two long-time executives, according to Fox Business.
One of the people departing is Lisa Nishimura, who helped the company develop standup comedy specials and original documentaries and was responsible for smaller-budget films, usually under $30 million. Ian Bricke, a vice president in the film group who developed the popular teen movie franchise “The Kissing Booth,” is also leaving.
In the past, Netflix has produced more than 50 movies a year, much more than any other company. Some films, like “The Power of the Dog” and “Don’t Look Up” were nominated for Oscars, and “All Quiet on the Western Front,” won the best international film this year. Other original films have become well-regarded cult favorites, such as the Mark Duplass-produced “Blue Jay” or the queer love story “Alex Strangelove.”
But with so many films coming from Netflix, a lot of them disappear without notice, with many critics dismissing them as undercooked and undistinguished.
Netflix To Hold Onto This Key Title
Will these cutbacks and restructurings lead Netflix to adopt a quality over quantity model? Will we get more movies that are good, rather than just sort of…there?
We’ll have to see, but for now, the company has some good news it can tout.
Netflix first built its brand by licensing back catalog seasons of popular television shows like “The Office” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and it’s been said that the service helped little seen shows like “Breaking Bad” and “Parks and Recreation” become culture defining hits when audiences discovered them via Netflix.
But at some point, film studios realized they had created their biggest competitor on the backs of their most popular IP, and began porting it over to their own streaming services as soon as the contracts ended.
One of the shows that was set to be pulled was the Emmy-winning cult comedy “Arrested Development,” frequently cited as one of the best sitcoms of all time. A decade ago, Netflix debuted a new season of the comedy. The season received mixed reviews, but it was still a power move, and along with the premiere of “Orange is the New Black,” it announced that Netflix was in the originals game now.
So it was a bit awkward when news broke that “Arrested Development” would be leaving the service. Fortunately, Netflix struck a last-minute agreement to keep the comedy series with Disney’s 20th Television division (DIS) – Get Free Report, which controls the rights.
The new licensing deal also stipulates that Disney’s Hulu must relinquish its current access to the first three seasons at some point this year, so Netflix will be exclusive streaming host for “Arrested Development.”