Netflix CEO: “We have never canceled a successful show”

1899Warrior NunBlockbusterResident EvilThe Midnight ClubFate: The Winx Saga. Those are just a few of the shows that Netflix canceled in 2022, as the streamer continues to build its reputation as a fearsome axeman. It seems that every other week Netflix gives the chop to another series, some of them with very passionate, very unhappy fanbases.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed the issue while speaking to Bloomberg, laying it out in coldly mathematical terms:

We have never canceled a successful show. A lot of these shows were well-intended but talk to a very small audience on a very big budget. The key to it is you have to be able to talk to a small audience on a small budget and a large audience at a large budget. If you do that well, you can do that forever.

On one hand, I see his point; sure, a lot of people enjoyed 1899 and Warrior Nun, but if the numbers didn’t justify the expense, why would Netflix continue to invest in these shows?

On the other hand, sometimes a show needs some time to find an audience. And you’d figure Netflix could be a little more careful up top; they cancel so many expensive shows without wrapping up the story, leaving fans in a lurch. Maybe being more careful when they’re picking which series to greenlight would result in fewer angry customers?

Netflix cancelations drive subscribers to rival streaming services

And there is some evidence that Netflix’s trigger-happy finger has resulted in dissatisfaction. Time2Play surveyed thousands of Netflix subscribers this month about the streamer’s cancelation spree, and they’re not pleased:

  • 43.7% say a show they like has been canceled before coming to a proper end
  • 39.9% have thought of canceling Netflix
  • 51.3% have signed up for other streaming services due to cancellations
  • 78.3% say they’re likely to switch to the new Netflix with Ads plan to save some cash

Netflix is fortunate that, as many people who have thought about canceling Netflix, few have; the company’s numbers remain strong. But if the cancelations are driving people to other streaming services, it may not always stay that way.

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