Last quarter, Netflix lost subscribers for the first time in a decade. This was a major shock and sent the stock price plummeting. Netflix has lost 200,000 subscribers and expects to lose 2 million more by July. Needless to say, major changes are on the way as the company tries to turn the tide, but they will take time to materialize. In the meantime, Netflix continues to add quality of life features to its apps, like the new Category Hub.
Netflix is bringing a new category hub to TVs
One of the many issues that every streaming service faces is content discovery. Many of us spend hours perusing a menu each week in search of the perfect show or movie. This search is often fruitless and we end up seeing episodes of Friends or Office Instead. Netflix has released a number of great features over the years to help combat “decision fatigue,” and the latest is the Category Hub for its TV apps.
Netflix Senior Software Engineer Mansi Desai explained the new feature in a blog post:
Starting today, you can find this hub in the left menu on adult and child profiles. There you will see your top 3 categories customized based on what you like to watch regularly. This new immersive experience will also include collections curated to celebrate local holidays like Earth Day or International Women’s Day, as well as globally popular categories like anime, drama, and kids & family when you have want something different.
This is basically a redesign of the Categories row that used to display on the home screen. By serving you your main categories first, Netflix is again trying to help subscribers spend less time scrolling and more time watching content on the service.
According to Netflix, the Category Hub will include around 70 categories in all. You’ll see your top 3 custom categories first, 15 that are globally popular, then another 55 that are locally relevant. Not all categories will be available in all countries.
Why is Netflix losing subscribers?
As useful as the feature may be, the lack of a category hub isn’t the reason Netflix lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers last quarter. Part of the problem is undoubtedly the increasing level of competition. Disney Plus is producing new Marvel and star wars shows almost every month. HBO Max has spent a year streaming blockbuster movies the same day they hit theaters. Office moved permanently to Peacock.
Other factors include Netflix’s decision to pull out of Russia, all the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the relentless torrent of price hikes. Since its last price hike, Netflix’s standard plan costs $15.49 per month in the US. It’s more expensive than pretty much any other streaming service out there. It’s no wonder the company is suddenly planning to introduce a lower-cost, ad-supported plan in the next few years.
More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out our coverage of the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.