“Our starting price is extremely competitive with other streamers,” Netflix told its shareholders in its quarterly earnings report, “and at $6.99 per month in the U.S., for example, it’s much less than the average price of a single movie ticket.” Whether that sort of reasoning will be enough to keep subscribers around is another matter. The company has earned itself a reputation for frequently canceling its original shows after only two or three seasons, much to the frustration of many viewers.
The company’s reputation aside, it faces another issue that has driven some cord-cutters back to piracy: the fragmentation of the streaming industry as a whole. Whereas customers could, in the industry’s early days, access a huge catalog of popular third-party content through Netflix, that is no longer the case. Many streaming services are now competing for consumers’ limited entertainment budgets, and with prices creeping upward across the board, some have complained that their total monthly expenditure is once again as high as their old cable bill.