Netflix boss says streamers will kill off TV in 10 years despite losing 1m users

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A Netflix boss reckons streamers will have killed off traditional telly in just 10 years.

Co-CEO Reed Hastings has declared that “linear TV” is headed for extinction thanks to the get-what-you-want-now generation of new online TV services.

He made the prediction despite the streamer recently haemorrhaging a million subscribers, mostly due to the cost of living crisis.

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Mr Hastings said: “It’s definitely the end of linear TV over the next five to 10 years.

“And, as Nielsen will announce on Thursday, our share of US TV viewing reached an all-time high of 7.7% in June (versus 6.6% in June 2021), demonstrating our ability to grow our engagement share as we continue to improve our service.”

Netflix reported a loss of about 970,000 subscribers in the last quarter.

The streamer insisted it was a “better-than-expected” result.

There had been a projection it faced losing around two million users in the three months between April and July as living costs surge.

Netflix’s stocks also plummeted by about 37% in April.

Hastings said: “We’re talking about, you know, losing one million instead of losing two million so you know our excitement is tempered.”

The subscriber losses reported by the company on Tuesday are the biggest in its 10-year history.

It reported the highest numbers of cancellations, around a million, in America US and Canada.

It was followed by a loss of a smaller number of subscribers in Europe.

This was offset by a gain of over one million customers in the Asia/Pacific region.

Hastings said execution “really well on the content side”, with “lots of titles”, had still led to “lots of viewing”.

He pointed to the new series of Stranger Things as one of the company’s biggest recent success stories.

In its first four weeks, the season generated 1.3 billion hours viewed, making it Netflix’s biggest ever season of English TV.

Netflix said in a letter to shareholders: “Season four also re-ignited interest in past episodes with season one through three experiencing a greater than five-fold increase in viewing in the month after the release of season four (vs the prior month).”

The company said it has about 221 million subscribers, and hopes to add another million in the upcoming quarter.

It blamed its recent slowdown on a range of factors from password-sharing and competition to the battered global economy and “impacts of the war in Ukraine ”.

In the last two months, Netflix has laid off nearly 450 workers, announced a cheaper ad-supported subscription plan and vowed to stomp out password sharing.


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