Opinion: The moment it all went wrong for Netflix

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language


the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

When you lose tens of billions of dollars in one day, blame starts to go around.

In the wave of recriminations following Netflix’s stock price plunge after it reported declining subscriber numbers for the first time in a decade, fingers are being pointed and costs are being cut.

Global Tech News Daily

First there was the ousting of its animation department head and with him, several staffers and in-production projects, and now roughly a dozen staff from its Tudum editorial team have been let go.

Maybe Netflix shouldn’t be so quick to cut people, because according to The Hollywood Reporter, it may have been a high-profile scalping that led to Netflix’s current woes.

Global Tech News Daily

Many in the industry were surprised when in September 2020, Netflix’s long-time vice president of original content, Cindy Holland, was shown the door in an executive shake-up.

Holland had been with the company almost two decades at that point, since its fledgling days as a mail-order DVD rental service. She was also the one who ran point on its foray into original programming, starting with Lilyhammer, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

Holland had long been seen within the industry as a gatekeeper for quality and was known for championing collaborations with acclaimed on-screen and off-screen talent.

The Hollywood Reporter piece, written by veteran journalist Kim Masters, delves into the circumstances around Holland’s removal and the seismic cultural shift her exit had within Netflix and its move away from a more curated approach to programming.

Masters’ sources are unnamed but she’s a well-regarded and connected figure in Hollywood circles, and her reporting is generally on point. She also hosts the radio programme and podcast The Business.

According to Masters’ sources, it was Holland and not Sarandos who created Netflix’s brand as home to prestigious and talked-about programming, and it was she who developed and sustained relationships with talent.

Masters quoted one inside source: “That service was built on the back of Cindy Holland’s taste. I could give you a list of names of people who would lie down on railroad tracks for her. Ted is a fan [of content], not a picker. He’s a cheerleader and a good cheerleader, to a degree.”

Not for nothing, Masters’ sources also claimed Holland had years ago warned Sarandos about the dangers of continuing to commission specials from controversial comedian Dave Chappelle, whose transphobic comments led to internal uproar and bad press for Netflix last year. Sarandos is a personal fan of Chappelle’s work.

Netflix knew it would soon need to replace licensed shows such as Friends and The Office as those titles were recalled by the studios where they would launch their own streaming services, and couple that with its aggressive growth strategy, it needed to commission many more titles to populate its library.

According to Masters: “A former insider says Sarandos’ volume strategy began to prove destructive to the culture and quality of the service’s offerings.

“Whether Holland’s spendy approach itself would have proved sustainable is a question, but several creators believe Netflix lost much its early cachet by over-rotating to less expensive, less curated and less compelling – or the company might say broader – fare that simultaneously overwhelmed and underwhelmed some subscribers.”

Masters pointed to the 2016 hiring of former CBS and Universal TV executive Bela Bajaria as instrumental to the change within Netflix’s content strategy. Bajaria was originally brought onboard with responsibility for unscripted titles such as reality shows, but she also had oversight for licensed works.

One of Masters’ sources damned a 2017 commission by Bajaria as “the beginning of the Walmart-isation” of Netflix. That was the series Insatiable, a widely panned so-called satirical dramedy that was also hit with a fat-shaming scandal.

Netflix's Insatiable sparked a fat-shaming controversy. Photo / Netflix

According to Masters’ source: “It’s called Insatiable-gate within the halls of Netflix. It gave the power of greenlight to several people. It caused absolute demoralisation and chaos. Everybody though it was a terrible thing Ted did, allowing one team to greenlight something that another team had passed on.”

That source said Insatiable’s relative success with viewers – it was picked up for a second season – led Sarandos, under pressure to increase Netflix’s volume of original titles, to look to “Bela as what the company should be”.

According to Masters, once Holland and Bajaria’s teams both had the power to commission scripted shows, it created a culture within Netflix which pitted the two executives against each other.

Holland was known for ambitious but expensive endeavours including The Crown, Stranger Things and The Queen’s Gambit – the latter was one of her final projects. Bajaria picked up You after it was dropped by its US broadcast channel Lifetime. Bajaria is also credited for Squid Game and Lupin.

Holland was a spendthrift, an approach that could ultimately be unsustainable, while Bajaria was tightfisted.

Masters’ article said Holland would push back at Sarandos and they disagreed on Netflix’s broader strategy. When Sarandos was promoted to co-chief executive, it would only take two months before he made his move.

Sarandos, Masters reported, flew to New York and took Holland out to French restaurant Pastis, a Meatpacking institution beloved by the cultural elite. There, he told Holland he was backing Bajaria.

One of Masters’ sources blames not Bajaria for the noticeable change in Netflix’s culture and the quality of its originals, but the higher-ups. They told THR: “You cannot blame Bela for any of this. She has bosses in [founder and co-chief executive] Reed [Hastings] and Ted, and this fish stinks from the head.”

In the nine years since Netflix launched House of Cards, its originals strategy has seemingly evolved from a discerning, curated approach that valued quality and prestige to one that is more is more.

In its hunger to become a “something for everyone” service, the streaming company has lost what it used to be.

But that might be the natural evolution for any large company that needs to satisfy the demands of aggressive growth. Netflix is no longer the disruptor and hasn’t been for a while.

The question remains is whether its remaining 222 million paying customers want to fork out for a service that doesn’t have the cachet it used to enjoy, rather it’s become what many of its early fans were seeking an alternative from: the mainstream.

News Related


Actress Patti LuPone scolds audience member for not wearing a mask to Broadway event

At a Broadway event in New York City, an audience member was scolded by actress Patti LuPone for not wearing a mask. Read more »

Star of 'The Bear Whisperer' accused of illegal bear kill

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A man who stars on a TV show called “The Bear Whisperer” has been accused of illegally killing a black bear in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park ... Read more »

'Young Rock,' 'American Auto' are renewed, but these TV shows have stalled

Back for another season! Networks are announcing which shows will return for the 2022-23 year. “Young Rock,” the NBC comedy inspired by the life of wrestler-turned-action-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, ... Read more »

Here's why the creepy horror kids in 'Firestarter,' 'The Innocents' feel shockingly real

Children can be cruel, to animals, classmates and especially siblings. Add superpowers into that mix and you’ve got the makings of an effective horror movie. Scary children with extraordinary abilities ... Read more »

Stephen King's 'Firestarter' gets a new horror adaptation on Peacock

Ryan Kiera Armstrong plays a pyrokinetic 11-year-old and Zac Efron is her psychic dad keeping her out of government hands in ‘Firestarter.’ Read more »

Review: Acting chemistry boosts (very) dark 'Count of Three'

The Associated PressThis image released by United Artists shows Jerrod Carmichael, left, and Christopher Abbott in a scene from “On the Count of Three.” (United Artists via AP) “On the ... Read more »

Paris Hilton in D.C. advocating for victims of institutional child abuse

Speaking out at a rally with other abuse victims, Hilton noted, “I experienced it myself,” referring to experiences as a child in a Utah boarding school. (May 11) Read more »

After revealing new sexual abuse allegations, Paris Hilton lobbies for change in DC

WASHINGTON — Nearly two years after first alleging she had experienced physical and emotional abuse as a teenager at a Utah boarding school, Paris Hilton is revealing new allegations of ... Read more »

Stars of 'Fantasy Football' movie discuss film

The stars of the upcoming Nickelodeon/Paramount Plus movie ‘Fantasy Football’ discuss the fun energy of the Atlanta-based video gaming movie and how it appeals to all audiences. (May 11) Read more »

Film producers defend safety in Alec Baldwin shooting

New video, evidence shows chaotic scene after ‘Rust’ shooting Investigators looking into Halyna Hutchins’ death on the set of the Alec Baldwin film Rust released hours of video from the ... Read more »

Jury clears American in alleged assault of flight attendant

On Location: May 12, 2022 Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press FORT WORTH, Texas — Jurors in a civil lawsuit decided Wednesday that American Airlines did ... Read more »

Queer Asian author Anthony Veasna So wins posthumous LGBTQ Triangle Award for 'Afterparties'

NEW YORK — Robert Jones Jr.’s historical novel “The Prophets” and Anthony Veasna So’s posthumous debut story collection “Afterparties” are among the winners of the 34th annual Triangle Awards, given ... Read more »

Luisi to conduct Ring Cycle with Dallas Symphony in 2024

DALLAS — Fabio Luisi will conduct a Ring Cycle in concert with the Dallas Symphony in October 2024. Luisi, who became music director for the 2020-21 season, will conduct two ... Read more »

'Rust' producers defend safety in Alec Baldwin shooting, contest New Mexico state fine

SANTA FE, N.M. — A film production company is contesting sanctions by New Mexico officials for alleged workplace safety violations on the set of “Rust,” where actor and producer Alec ... Read more »

Rapper Casanova pleads guilty in NYC drug conspiracy case

NEW YORK — The rapper Casanova pleaded guilty to charges in a gang-related federal racketeering case that accused him of drug dealing and robbery, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The performer, ... Read more »

Christensen: 'It was cathartic' to return to Darth Vader

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” stars Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen discuss keeping details about the show secret and returning to play their iconic “Star Wars” characters. (May 12) Read more »

Mario Batali acquittal underscores perils of #MeToo cases

The Associated PressThis combination of 2017-2020 photos shows, from left, Dr. Larry Nassar, Mario Batali, and Harvey Weinstein. Legal experts and victims’ advocates say celebrity chef Batali’s acquittal on sexual ... Read more »

Trevor Strnad, The Black Dahlia Murder vocalist, dies at 41: 'It was his life to be your show'

Trevor Strnad, lead vocalist of the death metal band The Black Dahlia Murder, has died. He was 41. The band announced Strnad’s death in an Instagram post from their official ... Read more »

Other Chris Paul making his own name on, off football field

The Associated PressWashington Commanders guard Chris Paul speaks with reporters after a rookie minicamp practice at the team’s NFL football training facility, Friday, May 6, 2022 in Ashburn, Va. (AP ... Read more »

Adele, boyfriend Rich Paul goof off, show PDA in new photos: See their relationship timeline

Adele is sending her love with boyfriend Rich Paul to the entire internet. The British singer posted a series of photos of the couple on Instagram Wednesday, including a photo ... Read more »

Naomi Judd's public memorial to air live on CMT from Nashville, celebrating her 'immense impact'

A memorial for late Country Music Hall of Fame singer Naomi Judd will take place Sunday at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Judd, the Grammy Award-winning matriarch of hitmaking mother-daughter duo The ... Read more »

'This is how I'm gonna die': Dorit Kemsley details terrifying robbery on 'Real Housewives'

The new season of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” launched with a chilling episode Wednesday, chronicling the burglary of cast member Dorit Kemsley’s Encino, California, home last October. ... Read more »

Surprise! Justin Timberlake has a role in Jessica Biel's new limited series 'Candy'

Viewers tuning in to “Candy,” starring Jessica Biel, may recognize a familiar face: Biel’s husband Justin Timberlake. He portrays a deputy who investigates a murder that serves as the show’s ... Read more »

Surprise! Justin Timberlake is in 'Candy' with Jessica Biel

The Associated PressCast member and executive producer Jessica Biel, left, arrives with her husband, Justin Timberlake, at the Los Angeles premiere of “Candy,” on Monday, May 9, 2022 at El ... Read more »

CJ ENM to establish joint venture to produce Japanese series for global streaming services

SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s leading media and entertainment company CJ ENM said Thursday it will set up a drama studio in Japan through a joint venture with ... Read more »

Patti LuPone claps back at Broadway theatergoer for not wearing mask: 'Who do you think you are?'

For Patti LuPone it’s as easy as wearing a mask or exiting stage left. LuPone, 73, wasn’t having it Tuesday after a theatergoer didn’t appear to wear their mask covering ... Read more »

Ashley Judd talks about mental health after mother's death

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Ashley Judd encouraged people to seek help for their mental health and talked about her grieving process after the loss of her mother, country star Naomi Judd. ... Read more »

Cannes ready for its 75th edition

After making its official debut in 1946, the Cannes Film Festival has become the biggest event of its kind in the world. We look back at the festival’s biggest stars ... Read more »

AT&T Byron Nelson live stream 2022: how to watch PGA golf online and without cable

Defending champ K.H. Lee and FedEx Cup leader and Masters champ Scottie Scheffler are are among the star names set to battle it out in Texas this weekend at the ... Read more »

ShowBiz Minute: Hilton, Ho, Props

Paris Hilton speaks out against institutional child abuse in Washington; Denise Ho arrested on Hong Kong security law; Iconic Hollywood props to be auctioned off. (May 12) Read more »

Jennifer Grey is 'Out of the Corner' and on this week's best sellers list, along with Naomi Judd

Jennifer Grey is out of the corner and on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list: Her new memoir “Out of the Corner” (Ballantine, 352 pp.) debuts at No. 34 this week. ... Read more »

Jessica Biel spills on Justin Timberlake's 'Candy' role: 'You know we can't pay you?'

If you watched the fourth episode of Hulu’s “Candy” Thursday, you got quite the treat: an appearance by star Jessica Biel’s husband, Justin Timberlake, as a mustachioed police officer, in ... Read more »

Harvey Weinstein to face 5 extra accusers at LA trial, but not Rose McGowan or Daryl Hannah

A judge ruled Wednesday that movie mogul-turned-convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein will face a total of 10 accusers at his Los Angeles trial – but not Rose McGowan or Daryl ... Read more »

Fran Drescher talks new book 'N Is for The Nanny,' her most quoted line and iconic laugh

She’s got style, she’s got flair. And now, Fran Drescher has got a new book. “N Is for The Nanny,” out now, is an eye-popping picture book that teaches young ... Read more »

Top Gun: Maverick review

The original Top Gun is something of a divisive movie. Depending on who you ask, Tony Scott’s action classic is a shallow tale of exaggerated chauvinism or era-defining military metaphor. ... Read more »

Review: Tom Cruise's excellent 'Top Gun: Maverick' takes to the skies, sticks to the formula

The long-awaited aerial extravaganza “Top Gun: Maverick” knows its audience extremely well and wastes no time getting to business – which means cranking up Kenny Loggins’ classic “Danger Zone” and ... Read more »

Review: 'Top Gun' sequel a welcome trip to the danger zone

The Associated PressThis image released by Paramount Pictures shows Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in “Top Gun: Maverick.” (Paramount Pictures via AP) Early on in “Top Gun: Maverick,” ... Read more »

Netflix's 'Our Father': Donald Cline's biological daughter says film 'gave me my power back'

“Our Father” is a documentary that contains many themes: family, truth, religion, trust and justice. But most predominantly, it’s “a film about consent,” director Lucie Jourdan said in a interview ... Read more »

Ashley Judd reveals mother Naomi Judd's cause of death

Ashley Judd revealed that her mother, Naomi Judd, died by suicide on April 30, she told Diane Sawyer in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that aired Thursday. “The ... Read more »

'Star Wars' prop expected to fetch up to $1 million at auction

Pyro X-Wing Starfighter Model Miniature from 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope” among over 1,800 film and TV props up for auction at the Prop Store in Hollywood. (May 12) Read more »