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Have we reached peak Netflix?

Trying to watch some of Netflix’s more recent series all the way through, says Paul Weiner, feels a bit like cramming frankfurters down your throat in a hotdog eating contest. 

Readers outside the US may not share the American enthusiasm for competitive hotdog swallowing. But maybe they can relate to the feeling.

We’ve all spent the last few years, the last two especially, binge-watching, indiscriminately, too mesmerised to click the off-button.

Are we maybe just a little bit sick of it?

That’s the fear seizing executives in Netflix’s boardroom right now. That Mr Weiner, a 28-year-old artist from Denver, Colorado, who loved the streaming service at first, especially for watching old favourites like Star Trek and The Office, typifies a new mood. That after years of skyrocketing subscriber growth, people will switch off, not just their television sets, but their direct debits too.

Mr Weiner is one of the hundreds of thousands who have already cancelled, prompting a moment of high drama for the company this week as its share price plummeted and confidence in its future wobbled

People have begun to ask whether Netflix’s star, as the world’s largest streaming service, is beginning to fade.

“Netflix lost some of my favourite shows,” says Mr Weiner. “And I never know which show will disappear next.”

He thinks there’s more clickbait than there was – enticing teaser clips that don’t live up to expectations – and some poor writing.

“There are better streaming deals than Netflix right now,” he says.

Netflix was the first to introduce households to TV-on-tap in 2007, entering popular culture with its avalanche of output, and even spawning the phrase “Netflix and chill” as a euphemism for staying in to have sex. But since then many other streaming services have followed Netflix’s lead, including HBO, Disney, Apple and Amazon, making it an increasingly crowded market.

BBC

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