business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Variety reports on a new 2022 Streaming Satisfaction Report from Whip Media concluding that "Netflix remains the most indispensable service among major streaming platforms, with 31% of U.S. members saying they would keep the service if they could only have one video subscription."

In addition, "Netflix ranks No. 1 for both user experience and content recommendations on the survey."

But there's a problem:  "On perceived value, it comes in dead last among the nine subscription VOD services tracked; HBO Max ranks highest and Disney+ is in second place."

Variety notes that "even as Netflix held the top spot in Whip Media’s 2022 survey as the single must-have service, it dropped 10 percentage points compared with the company’s 2021 survey, while HBO Max and Disney+ both made gains from last year."

I found this fascinating because, coincidentally, I've been having virtually the same conversation with a number of people over the past month or so.  The question I've posed is this:

If you had to give up one streaming service, which one would it be?

More often than not, the answer to this question was:  Netflix.

I know I feel that way.

The thing about Netflix is, it has a ton of content and is easy to navigate.  But for me - and, apparently, a lot of other people - frequently it ends up that the content isn't anything worth navigating to.  The proprietary content - movies and series produced by or for Netflix that are its equivalent of private label - is stuff I've often found to be not very good.  Not always - there are things I've seen on Netflix that I have enjoyed, but not nearly as many or as much as on Paramount+, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+.

The Eye-Opener here is that when you think about streaming services, Netflix may not have invented the venue, but it certainly has been a leader.  And yet, according to the Whip survey and my completely unscientific polling of friends and family, it seems to be losing its advantage.

Proving yet again:  There is No Such Thing As An Unassailable Advantage. 

The retail lesson is clear.  All the things you may think give you a differential advantage in the marketplace are only as effective as they are today.

Tomorrow, your competition may come up with something better.  Of greater value.  Cheaper.  Different.  Faster.  Tastier.  Transcendent.  Or whatever.

The one thing that no business ever can do is be complacent about their advantage.  

Say it after me again:  There is No Such Thing As An Unassailable Advantage.