It has been a big week for Netflix. It started the week by announcing a price rise with the new cost of Netflix across US now positioning it as the most expensive streaming service, edging out HBO Max. When Netflix's Reed Hastings said a number of years back that the company wanted to become HBO faster than HBO can become Netflix, I'm not sure price was what he was thinking of.

The week ended with a quarterly earnings report where the company announced it was half a million subscribers lower than projected. Netflix has 221.84 million worldwide, adding only 8 million subscribers this quarter. A mere 8 million...

Wall Street responded angrily, with after hours trading sending stock down 10%.

Netflix Narrowly Misses Subscriber Target In Q4; Stock Tumbles
Netflix narrowly missed subscriber forecasts for the fourth quarter, reporting a worldwide total of 221.84 million. The year-over-year gain of 8.3 million subscribers in the period ending December …

Let's talk about that price rise again, shall we.

The price rise is happening because growth numbers are slowing down and the company needs to try and get into the black despite the large expenditure on content. Netflix clearly feels that customers are getting enough value from the service that they will just deal with that price rise. There's a decent piece about it at CNN today:

Why Netflix is raising prices
Netflix is set to report fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. Typically, Wall Street’s eyes would be set squarely on the streamer’s subscriber growth. But this time, there’s something new for investors and industry observers to look at: Netflix’s sales projections after it raised its prices.

But I can't help thinking about Joe Adalian's piece this morning in his weekly Buffering newsletter.

There will also surely be a percentage of price-sensitive Netflix U.S. subscribers who decide to cancel their memberships because of the increase in the coming weeks and months. We won’t really know how many until next spring, when Netflix reports its first-quarter earnings and says how many subscribers it added or lost.

It was his use of the phrase 'price sensitive'. That is a common term used in regards to this sort of conversation about customer churn on low-cost entertainment services. But it resonated as I started to think about a conversation with an Australian pal of mine earlier this week, Anthony, who saw his Netflix price was going up to A$22.99 a month. Netflix is reaching the point where it is getting to be past $20 a month (for the top tier) and customers are wondering if the service is giving them value for money. Anthony isn't a 'price sensitive' customer - but he is now asking whether Netflix is giving him value for money. As he mentioned, the last show that he was excited by on Netflix was Midnight Mass and that was a few months ago.

Is Netflix reaching a monthly price where it isn't just price-sensitive customers who are baulking at the cost of the service now, but it is also general users who are questioning its value when there are so many other competing services offering compelling content? What is that price ceiling? And has Netflix just hit it?

When White Lotus comes back, it'll be in Sicily

The location for season 2 of HBO's The White Lotus has been announced, with it taking place in Sicily.

The shooting location will be the Four Seasons San Domenica Palace in the Sicilian resort town of Taormina. Currently the hotel is closed to customers until April 1.

As per Google Image searching, the resort looks like this:


‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Will Be Set in Sicily (EXCLUSIVE)
The highly anticipated second season of Mike White’s “The White Lotus” will be filmed in Sicily, Variety has learned — confirming previous reports that Season 2 of the HBO show wi…

It's time to go back... to Kitchen Stadium

Netflix are rebooting Iron Chef. The new version Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend is said to be a supersized version of the (US version of) the show.

Don't expect to see Chairman Kaga on screen - this is hailing from a US production company.

“The legendary Iron Chef series is reborn with a supersized approach to the ground-breaking culinary competition that started it all. It’s been called the toughest culinary challenge a chef will ever experience. This is where world-class cuisine meets high-octane sports. Five new trailblazing Iron Chefs will welcome brave Challenger Chefs to the reimagined Kitchen Stadium, where they’ll face off and be pushed to the limits of endurance and creativity, as they cook up extraordinary culinary creations. The competition’s most successful Challenger will return to battle in a grand finale for the chance to be named the first-ever ‘Iron Legend.'”
Netflix Orders Supersized Reboot of ‘Iron Chef’
The streamer’s take on the culinary competition will be titled ‘Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.’

Welcome back Wallace and Gromit

It has been too long since Wallace and Gromit have been on our screens with a new film. But that changes with the stop motion animation duo returning in 2024. It will air on the BBC in the UK, but Netflix have the global rights for other territories.

It is the first Wallace and Gromit film since 2008's A Matter of Loaf and Death.

Wallace & Gromit Are Back: BBC And Netflix To Air Sixth Animation In 2024 As Netflix Unveils ‘Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget’ First Look And Cast
Wallace and Gromit are returning to screens for the first time in more than 15 years, with the BBC and Netflix snapping up Aardman’s latest animation, while Netflix has unveiled first look an…

Getting back to a Gilded age

The best new show of 2022 so far is the new HBO series The Gilded Age. It debuts next week (here in Australia we get it on Paramount+). The show is the new series from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and is set in 1880s New York, focusing on the snobbishness of the new money families establishing themselves in town, trying to make inroads into high society.

Dave Itzkoff at the New York Times has a really great feature on the show, interviewing the cast and creatives behind the show. This is a series that has been in the works for almost a decade now, initially set up as an NBC series. There's a fun quote from NBCU chair Pearlena Igbokwe:

“It was fantastic, but it was a decidedly big show,” she said. “The network decided, we don’t want to restrict Julian’s vision in any kind of way, and we don’t know if we have the appetite for that vision.”

Translation: It is a f**king expensive show that is too rich for our blood.

‘The Gilded Age’ Finally Arrives on HBO
A decade after it began life at NBC, this period drama from the “Downton Abbey” creator, Julian Fellowes, comes to TV with big mansions, big names and big costumes. It also faces big risks.

TeeVee Snacks

  • It'll be Joshua Jackson saying "Those women be crazy" when Lizzy Caplan goes nutty at him in the new Fatal Attraction series for Paramount+. Read: The Verge
  • Gina Rodriguez will star in an adaptation of the Pedro Almodovar film Women on The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Read: THR
  • The Batman will have a runtime of 2 hours and 55 mins. That's both a lot of Batman and not nearly enough to satisfy my interest in this movie. Read: Deadline
  • The Hundred with Andy Lee will return for a second season. Read: TV Tonight
  • Great news that Happy Valley has entered production on s3. Read: Cult Box
  • The TV gem that too many of you ignored, Upload, returns to Amazon Prime Video for a second season on March 11. Read: TV Line
  • RIP the US version of Pooch Perfect, which, like the Australian version, is hosted by Rebel Wilson. Read: Deadline

Trailer Park

Chloe debuts on the BBC Feb 6.

Assuming a new identity and infiltrating Chloe's group of friends, Becky sets out to find out what really happened to the person she idealised for so long – and whether she was really the Chloe she appeared to be on social media.

Phat Tuesdays: The Era of Hip Hop Comedy debuts Feb 4 on Amazon Prime Video.

The Sky is Everywhere debuts on Apple TV+ Feb 11.

That's it for now. Always Be Watching will be back in a few hours time with the weekly streaming guide. Until then - stay safe.