New York (CNN Business) Netflix has had a terrible 2022. In April, it said it lost customers for the first time since 2011. Its stock has fallen more than 60% so far this year.
Yet its latest struggle may not be the beginning of the decline or the beginning of the end for the prolific team. Instead, it’s a sign that Netflix is becoming a traditional media company.
Netflix (NFLX) was originally rated as a Big Tech company, part of the Wall Street acronym, “FAANG,” which stands for Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix and Google (GOOG). . Wall Street once valued the company at about $300 billion — a figure similar to many Big Tech companies that Netflix’s business model ultimately couldn’t survive on.
“I think Netflix is overvalued,” Julia Alexander, director of strategy at Parrot Analytics, told CNN Business. “Unlike those companies that have different tentacles, Netflix doesn’t have many tentacles.”
But Netflix has never really been a technology company.
Yes, it relied on customer growth like many companies in the tech world, but its customer growth was built on movies and TV shows that people want to watch and pay for. That’s more like a Hollywood studio than a Silicon Valley tech company.
Netflix was more of a technology company than Disney, Comcast, Paramount or CNN’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery. But as those traditional media companies are starting to look more like Netflix, Netflix is also starting to take a page from its rival’s playbooks: it will start serving ads and releasing some shows in weeks and months. Instead of having it together.
Netflix said its lower ad rate and password-sharing controls could arrive next year. It is working with Microsoft ( MSFT ) on its advertising business
“I think in many ways Netflix’s moves suggest it’s transitioning from a technology company to a media company,” Andrew Hare, Magid’s senior vice president of research, told CNN Business. “By introducing ads, breaking password sharing, and marquee shows like ‘Stranger Things’ testing a slow release, we see Netflix becoming a traditional media company every day.”
Hare added that Netflix’s previous business strategy, which was “once sacrosanct, has now been thrown out the window.”
“Netflix once took Hollywood deep out of its comfort zone. They brought streaming to the American living room,” he said. “Now it seems that some common practices may be what Netflix needs.”
For Netflix now, “a lot of the strategic moves are being made as they mature and move into the next phase as a company,” Hare said. That includes focusing on cash flow and revenue rather than just growth.
“In other words, old school business,” he said.
— CNN Business Moss Cohen contributed to this report.