Just Another Wednesday
Netflix (NFLX) has another hit on its hands. Wednesday, the story of Wednesday Addams, the daughter in the Addams Family, is now the streaming giant’s third most popular English-language TV series ever.
Wednesday has surpassed 752 million hours viewed after premiering on November 16, putting it on track to reach 1 billion hours viewed within its first 60 days on Netflix. Two other shows released on the platform this year reached that milestone: Stranger Things 4 and Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
While it doesn’t appear likely to threaten Korean mega hit Squid Game, Wednesday just broke the single-week viewership record for an English language series — in back-to-back weeks.
For many in the streaming industry, 2022 has been a struggle. Disney+ (DIS) has been a drag on its parent company’s earnings, HBO Max (WBD) and Discovery+ will merge in the spring, and industry observers seem split over whether Amazon’s (AMZN) highly-expensive Lord of the Rings spin-off, The Rings of Power, has been a success.
For Netflix, it’s been a great year — at least in terms of its original programming. With two shows having racked up more than 1 billion viewing hours, and now a third seemingly on its way, the trajectory of Netflix’s original content runs counter to issues elsewhere in the company, including layoffs and middling stock performance.
Prices Pointing Up
Netflix also launched an ad-supported tier this year, which costs $6.99 per month. That’s just one dollar cheaper than what the cost of a standard Netflix subscription was in 2011. Since the start of 2017, the most expensive plan has shot up in price from $11.99 to $19.99.
It’s unlikely this trend will stop anytime soon. Companies like Netflix are under constant pressure to spend in the search for new hit content, keeping costs high. At the same time, executives are under pressure from investors to deliver profits. That keeps prices on an upward track. Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, and Apple TV+ (AAPL) have all raised their prices this year.
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