Is Netflix panicking? Probably.
According to The New York Times, Netflix executives told employees of plans to lower the price of entry into the streaming platform by introducing a more affordable advertisement-supported tier before the year ends.
Netflix's Chief Financial Officer, Spencer Neumann, confirmed in March that the company isn't thinking about ad-supported plans right now, which came weeks after Disney revealed its plans to launch an ad-supported offering.
There's no doubt that the sudden change of heart for Netflix comes after the brand reported losing subscribers for the first time in ten years.
Unfortunately, it's hard not to wonder if Netflix still knows what it's doing. The latest update comes after Netflix canceled a series of shows such as Space Force, Archive 81, and a sequel to 2017's Bright, starring Will Smith. It feels rather counterintuitive for Netflix to drop the original shows that had a fairly sizable audience and worry about losing numbers.
Not to mention, the recent crackdown on password sharing makes it feel like Netflix is throwing everything it can at the wall to see what sticks.
It's never a bad thing for any service provider to offer a more affordable service, streaming included. The only problem is that Netflix only has streaming going for it. Meanwhile, its competitors are owned by multinational companies that have other offerings. They can all stand to take a financial hit - Netflix can't.
Even if Netflix tries its best to pivot towards gaming, it's always going to be a streaming platform in the eyes of the public.
The only question now is, how long is Netflix going to be the go-to choice for the majority? As evidenced by the expected massive drop-off in subscribers later this year, Netflix stands to lose its spot at the top of the perch sooner rather than later. Once that happens, what's next? A cheaper option for subscribers is a band-aid solution, but audiences, shareholders, and stockholders all need and want reassurance.
Hopefully, Netflix can buy itself a less-controversial stretch over the next few months as it tries to figure out a proper plan.