June 23, 2022 | 10:47am
Netflix boss Ted Sarandos fielded questions on the way forward for the streaming service at Cannes Lions Thursday.
Netflix boss Ted Sarandos fielded a slew of questions in regards to the demise of his firm’s inventory value, how he plans to cease the bleeding and his motive for defending the controversial comedy specials of Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais, which put him on the middle of a tradition warfare.
Netflix, as soon as the darling of streaming and the envy of Hollywood, hit a serious velocity bump in April when it reported losing nearly 200,000 subscribers within the first quarter of 2022.
“Let’s begin out with the unhealthy information: Your inventory value,” mentioned tech journalist Kara Swisher, who interviewed Sarandos on Cannes Lions mainstage Thursday. “Flying excessive a 12 months in the past… issues had been going nicely. This was a second the place everybody mentioned Netflix owned the world.”
The subscription decline has tanked Netflix’s inventory practically 50 % for the reason that announcement, inflicting Wall Avenue to query whether or not the streaming large, which is thought for hit exhibits like “Stranger Issues,” “Bridgerton” and “Squid Recreation” has any extra room to develop.
Sarandos, 57, who was in Cannes to simply accept the Leisure Particular person of the 12 months Award on the promoting competition, mentioned he’s skilled comparable hiccups previously.
“There’s a time the place the market disconnects from the core enterprise. You need to show to the market,” he mentioned earlier than calling out Hollywood, which has reveled in Netflix’s missteps.
“They seen us as a spoiler; they’re glad to see the spoiler journey,” he added.
The co-CEO of the world’s largest streaming service defined that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated password sharing and there was a rise in competitors to the streaming house.
In consequence, his firm goes to crack down on users who divide accounts and add a lower-priced promoting tier, which can probably entice extra clients who don’t need to shell out an average of $16 a month.
The exec additionally didn’t chew when Swisher requested who Netflix can be partnering with for its advert tier amid studies that it may work with the likes of NBCUniversal or Google. He disregarded the query, saying the firm is in talks with all of the “largest advertisers.”
Swisher then shortly shifted to a extra buzzy subject, particularly the latest controversies by which Sarandos has defended the controversial Netflix comedy specials of Chappelle, 48, and Gervais, 60, who’ve peppered jokes at the transgender community.
Each specials – notably Chappelle’s – sparked outrage amongst Netflix workers and trans activists, who staged a walkout and rally last year in protest and calls for to take the particular down. Sarandos held his floor however apologized to workers.
“The rationale why comedy could be very arduous is we don’t chuckle on the similar factor. All of us nearly cry on the similar factor,” Sarandos mentioned, defending his resolution. “You discover the road by crossing it typically.”
In Might, the streaming service despatched out a memo to workers saying that in the event that they “discover it arduous to assist our content material breadth, Netflix might not be the perfect place for you.”
Though Sarandos mentioned he needs he had initially been extra “empathetic” to worker complaints, he admitted the choice was “vital” for the worldwide viewers, which has assorted style and beliefs.
“Everybody will not be going to love all of it. We received’t make all people glad.”