Netflix seems to have become a safe haven for creativity. A show isn’t working on network TV? Maybe Netflix will pick it up, and with no restrictions in the way, the showrunners could create whatever show they truly want, and make it more in the vein of what fans really want. Plus, with a series always being in the streaming service’s library, users can always pick it up whenever they feel like it — it’s a way to make every show evergreen. Couple that with the fact that they hardly seem to actually cancel their shows, one could certainly be forgiven for thinking all their shows will be safe there.
But may no longer be the case. Recently, the streaming service canceled The Get Down, and even more recently axed the Wachowskis’ series Sense8. In an interview with CNBC, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings seems of the opinion that they’re not canceling nearly enough shows.
“Our hit ratio is way too high right now. So, we’ve canceled very few shows … I’m always pushing the content team: We have to take more risk; you have to try more crazy things. Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall.”
His answer may puzzle some viewers. Why cancel shows that are doing well? In their mind, by canceling more shows and using their resources to take other big risks, you’re able to get completely surprising hits. One example he points to is 13 Reasons Why, a show that impressed them a great deal.
This is all further proof of how crazy ruthless this industry is. That being said, I don’t think their big top performers need to worry too much. It’s those “safe” and mediocre to lesser performing shows that need to watch out — and from a business perspective it makes sense. Why settle for just okay when you can make a big gamble and potentially make more? Netflix’s ambition has served them well in the past, and so long as they push for creativity, it could all work out pretty well for them.
What do you think of Hastings’ belief. Are you on board with his strategy, or do you think this could lead to a lot of great shows getting the ax? Let us know your thoughts down below!