Netflix faces irrelevancy amidst upcoming competition


With the way things are looking, Netflix will have major competition in the coming years. Disney+, shown above, is only one of the lower-priced options looking to take Netflix out.

Jordan Ladd, editor

As the years pass, things that were once seen as very popular are now long forgotten. Take, for instance, the VHS tape. We laugh at the primitive technology our parents had, but in the ‘80s, it was not only valuable and common to have one, but it also allowed for a connection of relationships through shared experiences. When the new millennium hit, VHS tapes started to be on the decline, and new technology was rising to take its place.

The VHS tape isn’t the first fad of its time to become obsolete, and it certainly wasn’t the last. The entertainment business accounts for nearly $700 billion in America alone. To keep the steady flow of cash coming in, the entertainment business needs to evolve over time and keep up with ever-changing technologies.

Netflix first made its debut on streaming services in 2007, and started expanding internationally in 2010. Now a household name, Netflix has made its fame in online streaming, with 73% of households in the U.S. claiming to have a subscription to the service. However, as the streaming market increasingly shows promise in economic terms, many other companies are looking towards streaming content as a way to gain more consumers.

Just recently, media giant Disney released their plans to create their own streaming service, named Disney+. With this, Disney withdrew from Netflix any TV shows or movies that they owned, including popular brands such as Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic, significantly shrinking the recognizable content that Netflix holds on its shelves. Not only is Netflix losing its Disney-owned movies, but they’ll be in direct competition with Disney, who now holds all of the 21st Century Fox media as well, such as The Simpsons, Avatar, and much more.

Netflix is facing competition from other services as well. The Office and FRIENDS, arguably two of the most popular TV shows in history, are being pulled from Netflix, as their producing companies eye the streaming market too. With all this popular content being pulled from Netflix, one would think prices would lower, but in actuality, they’re rising. Netflix increased their standard plan price from $10.99 to $12.99 per month in 2019. Conversely, Disney+ is offering their services for $7 a month, and Apple TV just released their monthly subscription price for $5.99.

With shelves being stripped bare, Netflix will inevitably have to focus on creating original content. But, original content really isn’t Netflix’s strong suit—apart from some notable content such as Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Orange is the New Black, and a few others, Netflix’s content hasn’t really stunned anyone in the quality department. The film Bird Box, while unique in story, went viral essentially because of the memes. To fully be able to contend with its competitors, Netflix will need to stock up on its original content.

Now does all this mean you should start cancelling your Netflix subscriptions? Absolutely not. Netflix doesn’t look like it’ll be going away anytime soon, but the content you love will be switching providers. If you’re a person who takes their streaming seriously, you may want to look into changing your service. (And you definitely need to watch The Office 7 more times before it leaves in 2020.)