Netflix viewers are fed-up with their favourite series being axed
The show’s over! From The OA, Marco Polo to Bloodlines… research reveals Netflix viewers are fed-up with their favourite series being AXED too soon… after streaming giant lost 200,000 subscribers in post-Covid slump
- Netflix are cancelling their own shows earlier than ever before, analysis suggests
- Less than one in five shows launched in 2017 reached season three, data shows
- Subscribers have said they have cancelled the popular service because they ‘no longer want to invest their time’ in watching a series over fears it ‘will be culled’
- Rise of rivals including Disney+ and AppleTV+ have diluted the streaming market
Netflix are axing their own shows earlier than ever before and it’s thought to be one of the main reasons the platform is quickly losing subscribers, according to new research.
The streaming giant are rapidly cancelling many of their own projects as new data revealed fewer than one in five of Netflix’s original shows launched in 2017 actually reached season three – compared to just 31 per cent in 2015.
Popular TV dramas like The OA, Marco Polo, and The Punisher are being cancelled by the service after series two – leaving fans furious and threatening to cancel their subscriptions because they no longer want to ‘invest their time in a series’ over fears it will be ‘culled’.
Meanwhile, over half of Netflix’s own reality TV shows and dramas released in 2018 have not been commissioned for a second series, compared with more than a third launched in 2017 and 28 percent in 2016, reports The Times.
It comes as the streaming behemoth has lost 200,000 subscribers in just three months, while shareholders of the US firm have been warned to expect another two million subscribers to leave in the three months to July.
Bosses say a second price-rise in a year has played a part, while the company has lost 700,000 following its decision to pull out of Russia in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Netflix said the Covid boom had ‘created a lot of noise’ and blamed the slowdown on the return to normality after two years of lockdowns.
It also blamed password sharing for the rise in cancelled accounts, as it estimated that about 10million households worldwide are watching its service for free by using the account of a friend or another family member.
The company has now started testing different ways of curbing password sharing in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru – and could extend this elsewhere if it proves successful. Bosses are also considering turning the service into a low-fee subscription supported by ads.
Netflix are axing their own shows earlier than ever before and it’s thought to be one of the main reasons the platform is quickly losing subscribers, according to new analysis
Netflix also claimed that the market had now been ‘saturated’ by rising competition from streaming services including Disney+, Apple TV, Now TV, Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount, the cost-of-living crisis gripping the US, Canada and Western Europe, and its decision to quit streaming in Russia after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
And Netflix is also facing another expensive outlay in the form of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, having shelled out for a $100million deal with the couple in September 2020.
As of yet, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are yet to produce any published content for the streaming giant. But the company will be pinning their hopes that their upcoming series documenting the recent Invictus Games will prove value for money.
The rapid rise of rival Disney+, which has seen billions of dollars of investment in recent years, has seen competition in the streaming market increase dramatically.
And other services like Amazon Prime Video, which has captured a share of the live football market in the UK, and AppleTV+, which has seen success through football comedy Ted Lasso, have also seen people turn away from Netflix.
The streaming giant are cancelling many of their own TV series as new data reveals fewer that one in five original shows launched in 2017 reached season three – compared to just 31 per cent in 2015
The streaming service has also been accused of liberal excess, with outspoken Tesla billionaire Elon Musk claiming earlier this week that the ‘woke mind virus’ was making Netflix ‘unwatchable’.
Despite the streaming service’s recent issues, there have been some successes, with dystopian Korean series Squid Game proving a huge hit, and season one of period drama Bridgerton taking the world by storm.
However fan favourites such as Bloodline and Jessica Jones were cancelled after their third season, leaving viewers frustrated and ‘tired of starting something new only for it to be cancelled two years later’.
Here MailOnline takes a look at Netflix’s original fan-favourite dramas that have been cancelled:
CANCELLED – Marco Polo (Production cost of around £140million)
‘Hate-watching’ has become quite the phenomenon on Netflix. It is when a viewer watches something that is widely regarded as bad, just to see how bad that thing really is – and sometimes they end up enjoying it.
Take for example, Emily in Paris. Though the tongue-in-cheek series has its many fans, many have claimed they have ‘hate-watched’ two seasons of the show – and it is now one of the most watched in Netflix history.
Before Emily in Paris, Marco Polo (pictured) was the Netflix ‘hate-watch’ special. The series is a drama of the life of real life Venetian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo as he journeys across Europe and Asia and lands up as a prisoner in the palace of Kublai Khan, a 13th century Mongolian emperor
But before Emily in Paris, Marco Polo was the Netflix ‘hate-watch’ special. The series is a drama of the life of real life Venetian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo as he journeys across Europe and Asia and lands up as a prisoner in the palace of Kublai Khan, a 13th century Mongolian emperor.
The series, which ran from 2014 until it’s final episode in 2016, was cancelled after season two despite the audience score reaching an impressive 94 per cent.
CANCELLED – The OA (Production cost of around £99million)
The cult American mystery drama television series saw a young woman, Prairie Johnson, return to her hometown seven years after she vanished. Armed with mysterious new abilities, she recruits five strangers for a secret mission.
The OA (pictured), an American mystery drama television series, was also cancelled after it’s second series
The series, which lasted for two seasons from December 2016 and March 2019, had fans left furious because of the show’s ‘cliffhanger ending’ – leading them to believe it was coming back for a third season.
On user wrote on Twitter after the show was cancelled: ‘I refuse to watch anymore of Netflix’s original series. As soon as you get into something, they announce they’re cancelling. How can they leave us viewers on a cliffhanger? It’s utterly stupid.’
CANCELLED – Jessica Jones (Production cost of £40million per season)
Following the third and final season of the Netflix and Marvel collaboration, Jessica Jones was cancelled after running from 2015 until 2019.
Based on the popular Marvel comics, Jessica Jones is a former superhero who opens her own detective agency.
The series was highly-acclaimed and received a Peabody Award, Hugo Award, and Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award before the streaming giant announced it was cancelling the drama.
Based on the popular Marvel comics, Jessica Jones is a former superhero who opens her own detective agency
Based on an anonymous source, The Wrap reported the shows didn’t have a high enough viewership to justify the high costs of making them.
However Disney+ regained the license for the series after their cancellation and began streaming them on their service on March 16.
CANCELLED – Bloodline (Between £180million and £225million)
Featuring an all-star cast, Bloodline proved a popular hit with fans all over the world before Netflix cancelled the TV thriller after three season in 2017.
The first season received positive reviews from critics and viewers, with many praising the performances of Ben Mendelsohn and Kyle Chandler
Bloodline is a dramatic thriller that explores the demons lurking beneath the surface of a contemporary American family.
The first season received positive reviews from critics and viewers, with many praising the performances of Ben Mendelsohn and Kyle Chandler.
Writing about the show, one viewer wrote: ‘I loved this show! It reeled me in since the first episode’s ending, and always left me wanting for more. I became so invested in all the characters.’
CANCELLED – The Punisher (Production cost of £40million per season)
The action crime drama sees former marine, Frank Castle, seek to take revenge and punish those who are responsible for his family’s murder – and later finds himself ensnared in a military conspiracy.
It was cancelled after two seasons in 2019 despite receiving a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award nomination and outstanding reviews from critics.
The action crime drama sees former marine, Frank Castle, seek to take revenge and punish those who are responsible for his family’s murder – and later finds himself ensnared in a military conspiracy
The Punisher was based on the character in a Marvel comic and was the second series – alongside Jessica Jones – that was set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
All of the Marvel Netflix series were removed from Netflix on March 1 after their competitor Disney regained the license for them and began streaming on Disney+ from March 16.
CANCELLED – Narcos (Production cost of around £20million per season)
The popular American crime drama was based on the real-life story of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar – who became a criminal billionaire through the production and distribution of cocaine.
The popular American crime drama was based on the real-life story of drug kingpin Pablo Escoba
The show ran for three seasons from 2015 until 2017, when directors announced that fourth season would instead reset as a new series titled Narcos: Mexico. However the show was cancelled after three seasons in November 2021.
Many subscribers have since taken to Twitter announcing they will be cancelling their subscription of the service following the recent controversy and their favourite binge-worthy shows being cancelled by the service.
One user, named Matthew Fiddy, wrote: ‘Netflix has no interest in continuing shows after season two or three as it won’t bring in new subscribers, or that’s what they believe. It should tell you everything you need to know about the company. I cancelled last week. I’m done with Netflix for good.’
Another added: ‘Netflix is starting to flag because they keep raising their prices, they now have competition and they cancel their own shows before they come to a conclusion. Basically, they’ve lost our trust.’
Cory Barker, assistant professor of communication at Bradley University in Illinois told The Times: ‘One of the biggest issues is cost because in Hollywood when you get past season three typically you are in contract renegotiation territory with the actors, crew and cast.
‘But I think subscribers get annoyed – there have been some really high-profile examples such as The OA – which wasn’t necessarily super popular – but its cancellation provoked a really passionate response from fans.’
The streaming service, which is now competing with $15million-an-episode Disney+ blockbuster series The Mandalorian, appears to be pinning its hopes on its own big-money exclusives.
Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings during the See What’s Next event at Villa Miani in Rome on April 18, 2018
But several, including Red Notice – its most expensive project ever – and the newly released Anatomy of a Scandal, come under fire from critics – even if they have been well watched.
Taunting the California-based company after it posted its losses, billionaire Tesla magnate Elon Musk said this week: ‘The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable’.
And other services like Amazon Prime Video, which has captured a share of the live football market in the UK, and AppleTV+, which has seen success through football comedy Ted Lasso, have also seen people turn away from Netflix.
By Harry Howard
From its humble beginnings of sending DVDs to customers in the post, Netflix has gone on to become the world’s largest streaming platform.
It was a success in part because of its then much larger rival Blockbuster’s failure to adapt to the streaming revolution.
Its popularity surged during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, with the firm adding 36million subscribers – bringing its total to a peak of more than 220million users.
By contrast, Blockbuster’s decline was swift, with its last company-owned stores closing in November 2013. Now only one, in Bend, Oregon, remains.
However, as the restrictions and lifestyle changes imposed as a result of coronavirus have subsided, so have Netflix’s fortunes.
The firm announced today that its customer base fell by 200,000 between January and March this year and it could fall by a further 2million between this month and June.
Netflix said the Covid boom had ‘created a lot of noise’ as it blamed its slowdown on the post-lockdown return to normality.
But the firm also blamed stiff competition from rival streaming firms including Disney+, Apple TV and Now TV, as well as the cost of living crisis gripping the West, and its decision to ‘quit’ Russia after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Netflix has also struggled to fend off the rise of Amazon’s streaming service Prime Video, which has rocketed in popularity and currently has around 200million subscribers signed up.
From its humble beginnings of sending DVDs to customers in the post, Netflix has gone on to become the world’s largest streaming platform but now faces stiff competition from the likes of Amazon, Disney Plus and Apple TV+
Netflix was founded in the U.S. in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph and began as a DVD-by-mail service.
Its website – the first ever DVD rental and sales site – was launched the following year, with a subscription service quickly following.
The firm became a publicly listed company in 2002 and had an initial market capitalisation of $6.5billion. By 2006, the firm had five million users.
In 2000, Mr Randolph had offered to sell his firm to established rival Blockbuster but the offer was rejected.
The Netflix founder revealed in his 2019 book that Blockbuster’s CEO at the time of the sale offer, John Antioco, had almost laughed when a $50million price tag was mentioned.
At the time, Blockbuster was the dominant player in the DVD and video rental market. The firm reached its peak in November 2004, with 84,300 employees and 9,094 stores worldwide.
However, whilst Netflix introduced its streaming service in 2007, Blockbuster failed to adapt and its decline was swift. The firm filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010.
The following year, Dish Network bought Blockbuster’s 1,700 remaining stores before the last company-owned stores closed in 2013. Blockbuster’s 528 stores in Britain were among those that had to close.
From 2007 onwards, Netflix’s popularity ballooned, with the firm widening its usability to the Xbox360, Blu-ray players and TV set-top boxes in 2008.
Netflix was founded in the U.S. in 1997 by Reed Hastings (pictured) and Marc Randolph and began as a DVD-by-mail service
Netflix was founded in the U.S. in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph and began as a DVD-by-mail service. Its website – the first ever DVD rental and sales site – was launched the following year
Netflix’s current loss of subscribers is the first time in a decade that it has declined in popularity. Above: The firm’s membership growth in 2021, compared to the current and estimated falls for 2022
This graphic shows how Netflix benefitted from the Covid boom. Between January and March 2020, business continued as it had done in 2019 and 2018, before the number of new accounts rocketed from mid-March through to May as much of the world went into lockdown. It continued expanding through 2020, but then declined in 2021
Upon news that it had shed 200,000 subscribers, Netflix’s shares plunged by 25 per cent. So far this year, its shares are down about 40 per cent
In 2012, Netflix expanded into the UK, Ireland and the Nordic countries and its membership hit 25million.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: Boston-born founder with Santa Cruz mansion, ‘Olympic-sized’ swimming pool and two private jets
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills on October 18, 2021
Hastings was born in Boston, Massachusetts, attended Bowdoin College, and after considering serving in the armed forces as a Marine, joined the Peace Corps instead. He then got a masters in computer science from Stanford University in 1988.
Before Netflix, he founded Pure Software, a software troubleshooting company in 1991. He later left the company after an acquisition to start Netflix in 1997 with colleague Marc Randolph.
Netflix, which initially offered DVD rentals by mail, grew rapidly as the internet expanded and Hastings became the unchallenged boss when Randolph left in 1999. But it was when Netflix began producing its own content that the California-based company truly became a force to be reckoned with.
Hastings certainly enjoys the fruits of his labour, sharing his vast home with his wife of more than 30 years, Patty Ann Quillin, and their two adult children, musician Molly and Sean. Together, they lead a lifestyle that seems an unusual blend of high-tech luxury and pastoral charm.
It was previously reported that they own two private jets. The Santa Cruz mansion boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a 12-person Jacuzzi. A home theatre – for Netflix binges, no doubt – has cutting edge Dolby Atmos surround sound, a system more advanced than most US cinemas.
And their vast garage can house 12 cars, while the driveway has space for a further 15.
By the end of 2013, the number of paid subscribers had hit 41.3million and by the final quarter of 2021 – the last period of consecutive membership growth before the recent slump – this figure had hit just under 222million.
In a sign of the positive impact that the coronavirus pandemic had on the firm’s popularity, the number of subscribers rose from by nearly 40million between the final quarter of 2019 and the end of 2020.
The firm’s in-house programming began in 2013, with shows such ass House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Further hits including The Crown and, more recently, Bridgerton, were to follow.
However, in recent years the firm has had to contend with rising competition, with Amazon’s streaming service – its most popular rival – launching in 2011. Prime Video’s membership is now just 20million below that of Netflix.
Amazon also acquired James Bond studio MGM last month in an 8.5 billion dollar (£6.5 billion) deal to build a library of content for subscribers.
Disney’s streaming service – Disney Plus – was launched in 2019 and already has nearly 130 million members.
Apple’s platform – Apple TV+ – which was also launched in 2019, currently has only 25million members but popular choices such as The Morning Show, Ted Lasso and Slow Horses are likely to boost its popularity in the coming months.
Netflix’s current loss of subscribers is the first time in a decade that it has declined in popularity. Its loss of 200,000 users fell well short of predictions that it would add 2.5million subscribers.
The US firm has seen its shares cut in half over the past six months as investors have grown increasingly concerned by the company’s change in fortunes.
In the UK, the pressure on streaming firms has become apparent as customers look to reduce their number of subscriptions as they witness soaring energy and goods bills during the cost-of-living crisis.
Experts at Kantar said earlier this week that around 1.5 million subscriptions have been axed in the UK since the start of 2022.
Netflix said the challenging economic backdrop, war in Ukraine, slowing rollout of broadband in some countries and the large number of subscribers sharing their account details with non-paying households have all contributed to the decline.
The company’s withdrawal from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine meant it immediately lost its 700,000 customers in the region, but the firm would have still seen figures significantly below expectations without the intervention.
As customer spending comes under pressure, the group faces increased demand for high quality content in order to justify people’s subscription fees.
The firm’s key challenge in recent years has been to ensure a strong roster of original series and films as many previous partners, such as Disney, withdrew their content to start up their own platforms.
The key reason shares dropped so sharply on Tuesday was because bosses warned shareholders that the situation was going to get worse before it got any better.
Blockbuster was once the dominant player in the DVD and video rental market. The firm reached its peak in November 2004, with 84,300 employees and 9,094 stores worldwide. Now, there is only one remaining Blockbuster outlet (pictured), in Bend, Oregon
Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010. The following year, Dish Network bought Blockbuster’s 1,700 remaining stores before the last company-owned stores closed in 2013. Blockbuster’s 528 stores in Britain were among those that had to close
Netflix’s stable of original content includes racy period drama Bridgerton, which stars Phoebe Dynevor (centre) and Luke Newton (left), among others
This image released by Netflix shows Lee Jung-jae, center, Park Hae-soo, right, and Oh Young-soo in a scene from the Korean series ‘Squid Game’
Amazon’s original content includes The Man in the High Castle, which boasts stars including Rufus Sewell (pictured above in character as John Smith
Another popular Amazon Prime show is the Alex Rider series, which is based on the children’s novels by Anthony Horowitz and stars Vicky McClure (pictured)
Netflix predicted that another two million users will leave in the three months to July.
The company said its profits dropped 6 per cent over the latest quarter and the downbeat outlook could suggest an even sharper profit decline could be on the cards.
Freetrade’s Paul Allison said the predicted drop in users is ‘a worrying sign… at a time when the firm is raising prices across the board to generate enough cash flow (which is currently negative) to maintain an entertaining line-up of shows’.
The streaming firm will hope that its recent heavy investment in fresh content and franchises will quickly bring rewards.
Last year, the company announced multimillion-pound deals to buy the works of Roald Dahl and the rights to the upcoming Knives Out sequels.
It will also hope that the return of top performing series – such as Stranger Things next month – will halt customers thinking about axing their subscriptions.
Bosses at the company said on Tuesday that they are considering a number of significant changes which could improve customer numbers and profitability.
The character popularly known as Baby Yoda in a scene from Disney Plus show The Mandalorian, a Star Wars spin-off series
Another Disney Plus offering is Loki, which focuses on the Marvel character of the same name. British star Tom Hiddleston stars in the lead role
This image released by Apple TV+ shows Jennifer Aniston in a scene from ‘The Morning Show’. The series focuses on the competitive world of morning television in the United States
Apple TV+ also offers the new show Slow Horses, which debuted this month. It stars Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas (pictured right)
They said they are now open to adding advertising to the service, in return for a cheaper subscription.
Reed Hastings, co-founder and chairman of Netflix, has long been opposed to introducing commercials to the service but could make the move to add another revenue stream.
The company could also clamp down on customers sharing their accounts with other households.
Netflix started a crackdown in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru on people sharing passwords and is considering expanding the scheme.
The company said in its latest financial report that it believes it is being shared with 100 million extra households alongside the 222 million paying for the service.
Netflix is also grappling with increasing desires among customers to spend more time away from screens. Reed Hastings infamously said that Netflix saw the human need to sleep as a bigger competitor than Amazon and HBO as it takes up a ‘very large pool of time’, saying it benefits from viewers staying up late because they get addicted to a series.
Netflix’s most expensive projects yet: From the blockbuster show The Crown to Ryan Reynolds flick Red Notice and hit series Stranger Things
1) THE CROWN ($520MILLION)
Imelda Staunton is pictured the Queen in blockbuster series The Crown
2) HOUSE OF CARDS ($365MILLION)
This image released by Netflix shows Robin Wright in a scene from the final season of House of Cards
3) ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK ($364MILLION)
A shot shows a scene from Netflix hit Orange is the New Black
4) STRANGER THINGS ($300MILLION)
A shot from Netflix’s popular series Stranger Things
5) SENSE8 ($216MILLION)
Daryl Hannah and Brian J Smith in Sense8
6) MARCO POLO ($200MILLION)
Marco Polo with Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco Polo
6) THE GRAY MAN ($200MILLION)
The Gray Man is an upcoming American action thriller film starring Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling
8) RED NOTICE ($160MILLION)
Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson in a promotional shot for Red Notice
8) THE IRISHMAN ($160MILLION)
This image released by Netflix shows Joe Pesci, left, and Robert De Niro in a scene from The Irishman
10) 6 UNDERGROUND ($150MILLION)
A shot from Netflix’s 6 Underground movie starring Ryan Reynolds (centre in sunglasses)
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