Still, its recent struggles may not be the start of a downward spiral or the beginning of the end for the streaming giant. Rather, it’s a sign that Netflix is becoming a more traditional media company.
“I think Netflix was hugely overvalued,” Julia Alexander, chief strategy officer at Parrot Analytics, told CNN Business. “Unlike companies that have different tentacles, Netflix doesn’t have many tentacles.”
But Netflix was never really a technology company.
Yes, it relied on subscriber growth like many companies in the tech world, but its subscriber growth relied on movies and TV shows that people wanted to watch and pay for. It’s more like a studio in Hollywood than a tech company in Silicon Valley.
“I think in many ways Netflix’s moves suggest a transition from a technology company to a media company,” Andrew Hare, senior vice president of research at Magid, told CNN Business. “With the introduction of ads, a crackdown on password sharing, flagship shows like ‘Stranger Things’ experimenting with a staggered release, we see Netflix looking more like a traditional media company every day.”
Hare added that Netflix’s old business strategy, which was “once sacrosanct, is now being thrown out the window.”
“Netflix once forced Hollywood out of its comfort zone deep. They brought streaming into the American living room,” he said. “Now it looks like some more conventional practices might be what Netflix needs.”
At Netflix right now, “a lot of these strategic moves are being made as they mature and move into the next phase as a business,” Hare noted. This means focusing on cash flow and revenue rather than just growth.
“In other words, old school stuff,” he said.
— CNN Business’ Moss Cohen contributed to this report.