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.