Image: Netflix

Traditional TV isn’t going to be around for too much longer, if Netflix’s CEO is to be believed.

Speaking during yesterday’s Q2 2022 earnings interview, Reed Hastings gave some of his thoughts regarding linear TV, claiming that it’s “definitely the end” of the old system, whereby viewers watch content according to a set schedule and channel.

The executive believes that TV only has a decade left, at the most.

“You know, looking forward, streaming is working everywhere,” Hastings said after going into some of Netflix’s recent financials. “Everyone is pouring in; it’s definitely the end of linear TV over the next five, ten years.”

This could just be the hopes of someone who happens to run one of the world’s biggest streaming companies, however. As The Verge pointed out in its coverage, Netflix would have tons to gain from the death of linear TV, as it represents one of the streamer’s biggest competitors.

Netflix needs linear TV to die because it needs the streaming holdouts still using linear TV. It shed a whopping 1.3 million subscribers across the US and Canada in the last three months, according to its 2022 Q2 earnings report. With more than 220 million paying customers worldwide, it’s essentially found as many subscribers as it’s going to.

That said, Hastings’ forecast may not be entirely far fetched. TV viewership numbers are on a steady decline, a fact that’s partially demonstrated by what some of the most popular broadcast shows are pulling in these days. These include Grey’s Anatomy, which has gone from “an average of 20 million viewers per episode to… four million.”

In addition to a lower-than-expected loss of subscribers, Netflix confirmed during its Q2 2022 earnings report yesterday that it would be launching its ad-supported tier in early 2023. But it’s still unclear how much cheaper it might cost versus its current plans, which start at $9.99.

Source: Netflix (via The Verge)

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21 comments

  1. So hard to say. Tech is always evolving. OTA as we know it for sure but from Cell to Wifi, and things in between, there are other options for linear broadcasting to continue. If the big companies don't have to shell out for transmitters like what exists now then they will have other means to keep up and adapt more quickly.
  2. For watching scripted shows, I believe I'm regular TV is already mostly dead. The only reason it is even sticking around there is because of DVR's.

    There is still an argument to be made for keeping it around for sports, other live events, news and the like thought.
  3. For watching scripted shows, I believe I'm regular TV is already mostly dead. The only reason it is even sticking around there is because of DVR's.

    There is still an argument to be made for keeping it around for sports, other live events, news and the like thought.
    Well Apple just bought the rights to the MLB and MLS. Amazon has Thursday Night Football, and the rights for the NBA go up for auction shortly.

    So…
  4. Well Apple just bought the rights to the MLB and MLS. Amazon has Thursday Night Football, and the rights for the NBA go up for auction shortly.

    So…
    So, if you are a sports fan, you'll have to subscribe to 3-4-5 streaming services to watch them all. This is the exact nightmare I was predicting 5 years ago. Everybody creating their own freaking service fragmenting the market into tiny shards, end you end up paying much more than for regular TV, and it won't even be a consistent experience due to all their crappy little apps, most of which won't be available on your TV if it's more than 2 years old.

    No, thanks and I can't believe I'm saying this, but give me regular linear TV instead.

    We are at the point now where even certain sports federations are creating their own paid streaming services for their own events. So just to follow one sport you need to plug multiple greedy holes, depending on how many organizations are there.
  5. So, if you are a sports fan, you'll have to subscribe to 3-4-5 streaming services to watch them all. This is the exact nightmare I was predicting 5 years ago. Everybody creating their own freaking service fragmenting the market into tiny shards, end you end up paying much more than for regular TV, and it won't even be a consistent experience due to all their crappy little apps, most of which won't be available on your TV if it's more than 2 years old.

    No, thanks and I can't believe I'm saying this, but give me regular linear TV instead.

    We are at the point now where even certain sports federations are creating their own paid streaming services for their own events. So just to follow one sport you need to plug multiple greedy holes, depending on how many organizations are there.
    I think quite a few of us were saying or at least saw this was coming years ago as well but we all knew it was just a matter of when and there was nothing any of us could really do about it.
  6. we need moar talent, dance, sing, shows! and then I jumped off the cliff.

    ...not to mention home renovation and cooking shows.

    If I have to see another one of these I might be tempted to shoot myself.
  7. we need moar talent, dance, sing, shows! and then I jumped off the cliff.
    You know what... give me a fun show with some of that thrown in and I tend to enjoy it. Umbrella Academy case in point.
  8. ...not to mention home renovation and cooking shows.

    If I have to see another one of these I might be tempted to shoot myself.
    I mean shiat, those genres already have entire f*cking channels/networks dedicated to them. HGTV and Food Network come to mind. Can it really get any more prevalent than that?

    I've never been a fan of regular TV (commercials, schedules, content, etc), and as soon as broadband became a thing, I've been grabbing almost all the video-based content I watch off the Internet, to run from local storage. Regular TV lost me eons ago, and movie theaters not long after.
  9. So, if you are a sports fan, you'll have to subscribe to 3-4-5 streaming services to watch them all.
    If you are an NFL fan, you need 3 different services, as Thursday Night, Sunday Night, and Monday Night all have different streaming rights.

    Yeah it's less than optimal, I agree.
  10. The fragmentation problem could be solved by consolidating all zombie-related content (TV shows, movies, live reality, etc.) into its own streaming service. 🧟‍♂️🧠🧟‍♀️

    The Zombie Network? ZombieVision? Undead TV? The News? I suck at this...
    🧟
  11. The fragmentation problem could be solved by consolidating all zombie-related content (TV shows, movies, live reality, etc.) into its own streaming service. 🧟‍♂️🧠🧟‍♀️

    The Zombie Network? ZombieVision? Undead TV? The News? I suck at this...
    🧟

    Shudder. It's all horror movies etc..
  12. If you are an NFL fan, you need 3 different services, as Thursday Night, Sunday Night, and Monday Night all have different streaming rights.

    Yeah it's less than optimal, I agree.
    Fios with the sports package covers it all.
  13. So would Dish or DirectTV or Xfinity. But those are all linear TV providers...
    yes, and yet I can use the NFL app, yahoo app, etc to stream the content. It’s a strange combo where I have Fios, but never actually watch Fios… I just use the synched authentication to only pay a single provider.

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