John Antioco had just landed as CEO of a troubled Blockbuster. Couple of Days later a person showed up at his office and said something like this: “Mr. Antioco, there are some guys at a company called Netflix who have started a mail-order DVD rental service.” Antioco probably laughed: Blockbuster had 8,000 stores worldwide and absolutely dominated the VHS movie-based video store business. He probably thought those Netflix guys were nuts.
Many of us would have thought the same. At that time the DVD was just showing its snout, but the truth is that the idea of Netflix ended up coming together. David ended up defeating Goliath, and in fact Netflix gave the finishing touch with its content streaming service. Blockbuster ended up disappearing and Netflix became what its rival had been: a giant that dominated the world of streaming. A new and unstoppable Goliath. Or not?
Maybe not. These days we have seen how the giant faltered. Losing 200,000 subscribers in a quarter after a pristine decade and announcing changes. That if a version with publicity, that if goodbye to the bargain of the shared accounts, that if you cut in your budget as a producer… Anything to avoid bleeding.
However, all this may not be enough. Netflix has a very serious problem called content , and above all a competition that is going to make things more complicated every time.
From the era of streaming without ads, in fact, it seems that we will move to one with cheap plans with ads as an inseparable part of the proposal, but perhaps even that is not enough to grow. Netflix, which dominated everything, now has a complicated future. We’ll see if she doesn’t end up like Blockbuster before she does.