At first there was a spirit of optimism, but in the meantime disillusionment has set in. Netflix is ​​losing subscribers and wants to take countermeasures.

The golden years are over. Whether Netflix, Disney, Apple, Amazon, Sky, ProSiebenSat.1, Mediengruppe RTL or other providers – they all want a big piece of the streaming cake. It should be clear that many consumers do not like it.

In Germany alone, millions of people have enjoyed series hits and blockbusters in recent years. They cheered on “Squid Game”, laughed on “LOL: Last One Laughing” or got upset about the finale of “Game of Thrones”. Many were also willing to purchase multiple subscriptions to enjoy much of the world of modern entertainment. However, more and more providers have been added in recent years. Paramount will also start in Germany in 2022. Large selection for a small price? puff cake!

hundreds of euros a year

In the meantime, consumers have to pick and choose the raisins, otherwise it will be expensive. Trial periods or individual special offers of the services are not included, there is talk of hundreds of euros a year. For example, if you subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney and Apple TV at the same time, you will end up with a total annual cost of at least around 315 euros. If a Disney and Amazon user opts for a monthly debit instead and chooses a premium subscription instead of the cheapest Netflix package, it is almost 480 euros per year.

Netflix, for many users the cherry on the cake for a long time, is apparently feeling the effects. For the first time since 2011, paying customers – around 200,000 – ran away from the streaming service in the first quarter. And yet 2.5 million new customers were expected. According to the outlook, two million other users are also expected to migrate in the coming months.

According to media reports, the entertainment giant blamed its withdrawal from Russia in the wake of the Ukraine war, among other things. And then there are the many, many customers who share their accounts with family and friends outside of their own household, even if this has always been forbidden in the terms of use. A good 100 million households are said to be using the service worldwide without paying.

Pay less for Netflix

The streaming service cannot go on like this in the long run. Accordingly, there are some considerations to boost the numbers again. Citing anonymous sources, the “New York Times” recently reported that Netflix could introduce a new, advertising-supported subscription option at a reduced price later this year.

On paper, that sounds good to some, and it’s not clear how exactly the ads could be integrated. However, paying for gummy bear or shower gel commercials that might interrupt an engaging scene would have a bland connotation. Incidentally, Disney is also working on a cheaper subscription with advertising, which is to be introduced in the USA in 2022 and internationally in the coming year.

Pay more for Netflix

In the past year, meanwhile, the service has been working on users being able to share their accounts with people outside their own household without violating the terms of use. They would then only have to “pay a little more”, as Netflix explained in mid-March.

The function of adding additional members to an account is being tested in Chile, Peru and Costa Rica for the time being. In the latter country, this “extra member” should cost around three dollars a month in addition to the standard or premium subscription. It is likely that the additional fee will also come to Germany. However, it is currently not known when it could be ready and how much it will cost.

A further price increase also seems almost inevitable. In the United States, Netflix increased prices again just a few months ago. Since its launch in Germany in 2014, Netflix has repeatedly increased the costs for customers in Germany. While the starting price for a basic subscription (only SD resolution) is still EUR 7.99 per month, the other options have become significantly more expensive. There was a time when the first month was free, standard and premium subscriptions were 8.99 euros and 11.99 euros per month respectively. However, the trial month has not existed for years; Standard and premium packages are currently EUR 12.99 and EUR 17.99 per month.

Netflix is ​​also working on innovations that are more pleasant for users. The US industry portal “Deadline” reports that a function for live streams is in an early development phase. This would allow the service to air live unscripted formats, stand-up comedy and more. It is conceivable, for example, that viewers will then also be offered casting shows or reality formats in which they could vote on the whereabouts of participants. The streaming service is also said to be having discussions about sports content.