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Netflix’s Bizarre ‘Solution’ to Subscriber Exodus & Stock Plunge: Toddlers

Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:51 PM
Lawrence Meyers
Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:51 PM

Following Netflix’s report of declining subscriptions and subsequent drop in its stock price, the company is pivoting in its original content strategy  to target a curious new demographic: toddlers.

The Netflix Preschool Pivot

Netflix appears to want to challenge Disney’s new streaming service by offering up a host of new shows aimed preschool-age viewers.

Netflix must constantly pivot to stay competitive as more and more streaming services come online. Disney is but one front. Apple will launch its service soon.

netflix stock price chart
Netflix stock took a major step down on the news it was losing US subscribers. | Source: Yahoo Finance

The newest shows from Netflix include the flagship animation project “DreamWorks Dragons Rescue Riders,” a spin-off from the mega-hit “How to Train Your Dragon” film series.

Netflix has tapped a host of known and unknown creators for its other animated and live-action shows. These include “What-To-Doodles,” which features contributions from an alumnus of “Bob the Builder,” as well as shows derived from popular children’s books like “Hello Ninja.”

These follow a slate of six animated films announced  earlier this year.

Disney Is the 800-Pound Gorilla

Netflix is going to have a challenging time competing with Disney, which is loaded with legacy children’s programming based on decades of characters across multiple genres.

When it comes to streaming services, households will only pay for so many of them simultaneously. Disney will be a hands-down no-brainer for family households and is being priced exceptionally competitively.

Most households will only have two or three services, leaving adults to choose among the remainders. It seems highly likely that a premium cable channel will take up one of those slots – HBO, Showtime, or Starz.

Investors are looking at what Netflix’s next subscription report looks like, but it will be deceptive. The real test will be in 2020 as Disney and Apple services roll out, and we get a close look at how much they are cannibalizing Netflix content. It will likely be a lot and hammer Netflix stock.

With maybe one slot remaining for most households, there will be a choice between Netflix and Amazon and, soon, Apple.

Yet it’s possible that households that already enjoy Amazon Prime, and get oodles of notable original and favorite old films and TV shows for free, may not elect to pony up for a third paid service.

That could leave Netflix out in the cold, and hence its attempt to push for younger audiences.

Netflix Branding Works Against It

Netflix has, to date, built its original programming reputation on darker content. Yet a more careful examination of its programming reveals that the service is hit-or-miss, with increasing amounts of weaker material.

Branding is the new frontier in streaming services. HBO, Showtime, Starz, Disney, and other services are already known and recognized for their brands.

Netflix is, to a certain extent, yet that dark mature branding may work against it as competitors become ubiquitous. That’s why it is falling over itself and paying millions to anybody it can.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.com.