Netflix’s 1899 Cancellation Was Inevitable

Netflix’s 1899 Cancellation Was Inevitable

Too ambitious? Not profitable enough? What if 1899’s cancellation was actually a no-brainer for Netflix.

Like the Titanic, 1899 sank into limbo. The series created by Janjte Friese and Baran bo Odar seemed to have had great success with Netflix subscribers. Last November, she climbed the ranks of the Netflix rankings to win first place. A performance that could suggest a renewal for at least eight new episodes. However, to everyone’s surprise, the red N decides to let the Kerberos and its passengers sink.

It was via Instagram that the two screenwriters shared the bad news. However, they did not specify the reason behind this cancellation. While the plagiarism controversy may not have helped, this decision could have its roots deeper in Netflix’s business model. Is there still a place for ambitious productions on the N rouge platform?

Money, money…

In 2022, Netflix canceled no less than 30 of its series. Of Destiny: The Winx Saga at The Midnight Club Passing by Archives 81all genders are affected. But then, how to explain this habit on the part of the entertainment giant? The reason is obviously economic. After having largely dominated the audiovisual panorama, and recorded exponential growth, the company is experiencing its first difficulties. The year 2022 was particularly marked by a sharp decline in its number of subscribers.

For the first time in its history, the SVOD giant recorded a large loss of subscribers. While the disappearance of the service in Russia could partly explain this downward trend, it continued in the following quarter. It must be said that at a time when the economic crisis is affecting many households around the world, and the N rouge continues to increase the price of its subscriptions, access to the service is no longer a priority. for some people.

Netflix has also lost its status as a successful factory, the platform multiplying critical failures. We can, for example, speak of the failed attempt to expand the universe of the witcher. origin of blood, released a few days ago on our screens, for example, did not meet with the expected success. The departure of Henry Cavill could also weigh heavily on the popularity of the license.

But when Netflix seems to hold its new success, or at least a production ambitious enough to restore its image, it is still not immune to cancellation. According to a survey of The Hollywood Reporterthe debacle of Netflix finds its source in the ousting of one of its employees. In 2020, Ted Sarandos ousted Cindy Holland, who was then vice president of Netflix original productions. In particular, it had enabled several iconic series to see the light of day. It is to her that we owe Card castle, Orange is the new black or stranger things.

But Cindy Holland’s strategy is expensive, and does not allow the creation of a multitude of series. A paradigm shift then took place, aiming to encourage the production of a great deal of content, but with more limited budgets. Two years later, the sentence falls for the series that are too financially greedy.

Profitability is at the center of the model, 1899 arguably fell short of the entertainment giant’s goals. According to a source interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, the arrival of Bela Bajaria at the head of the international division and non-scripted content would have marked the beginning of Netflix’s transformation into a veritable content supermarket.

The shortest stories…

Because if Emily in Paris, with its sitcom-like format, continues to monopolize the ranking of the most popular series of the moment, the most demanding productions are struggling to find their audience. 1899 is based on a mysterious plot, with a slower narration than most Netflix original series. Its format was also closer to television standards, to the point that the creators wondered about the mode of distribution of the latter. Indeed, they have for some time considered betting on a weekly upload. The goal was obviously to increase the enthusiasm, with a strong pilot then mysterious episodes until a cliffhanger at the end of the season.

Difficult to say if this configuration could have favored his return for a second burst of episodes. 1899 could have invited themselves into conversations for several weeks, as we do The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power or Dragon House this summer. Instead, the series was devoured and just as quickly forgotten by those who watched it. We can also legitimately wonder if the same fate would not have been reserved for Dark if it had been released a few years later.

However, it is still difficult to know how many Netflix subscribers have really looked into the series. Netflix only very rarely shares the results of its series, only revealing the number of hours watched around the world. These data are obviously not the only ones taken into account by Netflix.

When choosing whether or not to extend the journey of a series on our screens, the platform obviously analyzes the audiences, but also the audience retention rate as well as the profitability of such an operation. Using The Volume technology, which we discovered on the set of The Mandalorian, 1899 was probably not one of the low-budget productions. We can thus expect that the ax will still fall on many series of the genre.

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