Opinion: Netflix has lost its chill


Illustration credit: Eliot Solomon.

With Netflix’s loss in subscriber growth throughout 2022, the streaming service is making changes to entice possible subscribers and increase revenue. Instead of prioritizing high-quality original content to do this, Netflix has made changes such as cheaper subscriptions with advertisements and, most controversially, banning password-sharing.

On January 31, 2023, Netflix updated its help center to include a plan restricting access to devices outside a primary location — or one Wi-Fi Network. However, the next day, Netflix reversed this new policy, claiming that the password-sharing ban only applies in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, according to a statement for The Streamable

Nevertheless, Netflix is not backing down on password-sharing restrictions, as they launched the same policy in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain on February 8. To share a Netflix account outside of a primary location, users in these countries will pay about 30 percent more for up to two extra members.

With overlapping media across multiple streaming services, high-quality original content is necessary for a streaming site to stand out. 

When Netflix was the dominant streaming service, it was convenient for users to stay subscribed, even with price increases. But as other streaming platforms gain popularity, Netflix’s reputation of cringe-worthy original content such as “Tall Girl” or “The Kissing Booth” is not enough to keep subscribers. 

While popular Netflix original shows like “I Am Not Okay With This” — which has a 7.5/10 IMDb rating — were canceled, Gwenyth Paltrow’s “The Goop Lab” — which has a 2.6/10 IMDb rating — was renewed for a second season. “I Am Not Okay With This” was canceled due to the pandemic, but Netflix released both shows in early 2020.

“[Netflix] thinks that the reason they’re not getting enough money is because [its users] aren’t paying them enough…so they’re making these dumb [changes] to counteract that, but really, it’s just because the original shows they’re making are kind of s—,” said Blue Kennedy ‘25. “The media they’re making isn’t as good as the media from other streaming services.”

“I don’t think of Netflix as a place where things [get] created, even though I know there are Netflix originals,” said Daphne Gillman ‘26. “A lot of [what] I watch on Netflix, I know I could also access on Amazon Prime or HBO Max.”

Netflix does have popular original shows, but so does its competition. “Stranger Things and Wednesday…those are pretty good, and they got super viral and popular,” Kennedy said. “But…we [now] have Amazon Video, HBO, Hulu, whatever.”

“I like HBO Max…The shows they put out are all really high quality…like ‘White Lotus’ and ‘The Last of Us,’” said Taryn Jones ‘25. 


Infographic credit: Data Journalist Felix Ritcher for Statista.

Extra charges will only push current Netflix subscribers away to other sites with consistently higher-quality content. According to Netflix’s newsroom, password-sharing restrictions impact 100 million people who share passwords, including divorced or separated households, college students away from home and more. 

“It’s unfair…college students…are still a part of [the] family,” said Linda De La Cruz ‘24. Subscribers should be able to share Netflix accounts with their families, regardless of their household structure, without paying additional fees.

With the rapid increase of competing streaming services, Netflix must reward, not punish, subscribers by investing in new content instead of pursuing policies that punish users for using the service.