The Covid pandemic drastically changed the viewing pattern of entertainment enthusiasts. The lockdowns drew away the cinephiles from multiplexes and glued them to the content-oriented, Over-the-top (OTT) platforms. They helped in bridging the language barrier as well as the release time gaps. In addition, it gave the viewers the convenience of watching the latest quality content within the comfort of their homes. These benefits of OTT resulted in its faster acceptance among Indian fans.
However, the success was limited to a few players like Amazon Prime Video. Netflix could not capitalise on this tremendous opportunity. In its arrogance and ‘woke’ agenda, it remained adamant about not paying heed to viewers’ feedback. So, let’s analyse this diverging trend between the two major OTT platforms and the possible reasons behind it.
Netflix’s subscription on a nosedive
Netflix is facing the wrath of unsatisfied viewers. It is struggling to add new subscribers to its existing base. On top of that, the trust of its existing subscriber base is eroding at a fast pace. Its revenue is facing a slump. The platform has been forced to stop new recruitment plans. Rather, it is firing employees as if there is no tomorrow. It is giving newer dictations to its employees that are not working at all.
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that it has become a prime example of ‘Go Woke, Go broke’. The last two quarters’ data of Netflix reveals that Indians are fast rejecting the agenda-driven platform. They are jumping onto better alternatives like Amazon Prime Video and Sony Liv.
According to a BBC report, Netflix lost almost a million subscribers between April and July. Although, Netflix is still the biggest streaming service with 220.7 million subscribers continuing their entertainment journey with the ‘woke’ platform. The gap with the rival OTT platform Amazon Prime Video is fast narrowing. If the current trend persists, Amazon Prime, with subscriber strength at 175 million, may at any time overtake Netflix with its adaptive and quality Indian content.
Interestingly, Netflix officials had expected a much worse scenario. They claim that their Season 4 of ‘Stranger Things’ saved it from further humiliation. Still, with a loss of 9,70,000 subscribers in the June quarter, Netflix has suffered the biggest setback in the company’s history.
This is not a black swan moment for Netflix. It is facing financial troubles for quite some time now. In April, 2 lakh subscribers bid farewell to their Netflix subscriptions. This was the first time in more than a decade that Netflix lost subscribers instead of adding new ones. In contrast to this, the company had projected that it could add 2.5 million new paid subscribers. The investors are fast losing their confidence in the platform. Its share prices are tanking. It is said that it lost over $ 54 billion in market capitalisation.
Amazon on the rise
Many a time, it has been said that one man’s loss is another man’s gain. The same seems to be true in the case of Netflix and Amazon Prime videos. According to Gaurav Gandhi, country head of Amazon Prime Video India, India continues to be one of Prime Video’s fastest-growing and most engaged locales globally. Seeing the love and affection of Indian entertainment fans, Amazon is doubling its investment to make more content in India.
The streaming giant has announced to put up about 41 new contents within the next two years. The new contents are said to be in several Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
According to old data from 2020, Amazon Prime subscribers in India doubled during the Prime day. Amazon Inc’s subscription revenue rose 26% to $31.8 billion for the year 2021.
Reason behind Amazon’s success and the fall of Netflix
To begin with, Amazon prime videos had its fair share of controversies for platforming obnoxious agenda-driven content like Paatal Lok, Four more shots and Tandav. Unlike Netflix, Amazon has off late changed its track to bring in quality ‘Desi’ content like Panchayat, The Family Man, Breathe: Into the shadow, Shershah and Sardar Udham. It also has global binge-worthy content in the form of The Boys and The Good Doctor among others.
It has a plethora of genres for the entertainment of every age group between 5 to 80 years. From Romance and action to psychological-thriller and horror, it houses engaging content that strikes chords with the Indian audience.
Contrary to this, Netflix has been notorious to give platform only to those contents that are high on woke agenda. Cutie, 365 days, Mai and Sacred Games 2 are prime examples of its wokeness. To add a cherry on the top, it recently announced ‘The Archies’, which is neck deep in Nepotism and has nothing to offer on the plank of storytelling and creative content.
The other main benefit that Amazon possesses is that apart from special discounts to its subscribers, it offers fast delivery facilities on the Amazon shopping site. This is proving one of the game-changing strategies for the OTT giant. Its affordability and knack for picking Indian content are other key features that Netflix is eyeing to replicate but is facing a hindrance because of its woke mindset.
It is high time for Netflix to smell the coffee. It should resist its urge to change the preference of the public and pretend wokeness to be the voice of the majority, no it’s not. Their liberalism and voicing for rights of the ignored community is a sham, which is and will keep on costing them enormously. It is too ‘broken’ to be ‘woke’. So better learn from Amazon on how to choose a trajectory and chart a path to success.
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