Netflix’s Preliminary Strategy Audit

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About 1997, Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings formed Netflix along with the company’s site; The website which was opened after a year. Netflix’s innovative business strategy involved the presentation of a rental service online for films on DVDs, in which the DVDs were mailed straight to the consumer’s home. Still, Netflix’s innovative strategy turned out to be a failure since the company imitated the then popular Blockbuster’s way to pay method, that implicated a fare for every rented film.

Once Mr. Hastings understood the defeat, he instantly improved their payment style to a reasonable once-a-month payment charge for unrestricted movie rents exclusive of late fee add-ons. When they settled the payment concern, they were then confronted with a matter concerning distribution approaches. To solve the shipping and handling problem, the company started regional supply hubs everywhere in the country. After these two problems mentioned before were controlled, Netflix turned out to be extremely popular.

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Nevertheless, there are always going to appear continuous contestants everywhere to duplicate Netflix’s business strategy. Consequently, this report will be carrying out a preliminary strategy audit for our company. Primary, the examination will entail of an initial valuation of the business, which comprises competitive advantage, market position, and value proposition.

Subsequent, an environmental scan on the company needs to be presented, making use of Porter’s Five Forces Analysis. Later, the report will recognize five strategic apprehensions the business has and conclude the reason to be a problem. Lastly, the report will recapitulate the key conclusions and pinpoint suggestions for the 5 strategic problems the company encounters.

Netflix is today one of the topmost streaming services for subscribers all over the globe. Before streaming on demand, the company was an online flick and show rental company in 1997. However, the company still presents their flick and TV shows rentals, alongside with streaming to their consumers. Netflix as well started to produce original programming for their audiences, in a previous couple of years. By positively generating their movies and shows, the company is capable to race against cable networks, in addition to their strong competitors such as Amazon Prime and Hulu to mention some (Mikhalkina, 2014, Par. 2).

Netflix presents a value proposition to its consumers in many respects. One of the significant value propositions that the company gives to subscribers is the legal right to use to a considerable amount of TV shows and pictures in their databank. Moreover, Netflix correspondingly delivers a simple TV show and movie recommendation to the spectators created on what they consumed lately.

This supports the consumers without having to broadcast ads and disturb their flick or TV show. Correspondingly, consumers are capable of rating the flicks and TV shows and getting the reviews to decide if they desire to watch the movie or TV show. With the ranking alternative, Netflix tailors show and movies inclinations. Additionally, Netflix generates value proposition over the enormous diversity of gadgets that can stream their movies and shows.

These tools consist of tablets, desktops, laptops, smartphones, smart televisions and gaming consoles. Lastly, Netflix offers unique and self-produced shows and movies to their consumers. In every show, the season in full is published, so the consumers do not have the gaps for weeks up until the next episode broadcasts, which lets consumers watch the whole season at once or what is called today binge watch. (Mikhalkina, 2014, Par. 3).

While working in an extremely aggressive market including media streaming, it has been published that Netflix tallied up a bit more over 7 million signers in the last quarter of 2017. The announcement was excellent news for the business since their anticipations were around 2 million subscribers shorter than the present number. Moreover, Netflix is the head in subscriber companies when related to Amazon Prime and Hulu.

Including Comcast endured a decline of over 260 thousand subscribers in the last quarter in 2017. In 2011, several competitors remained aggressively marketing against Netflix; even Blockbuster was attempting cheaper pricing at one point. Hulu proposed to sell their video game rental business “Gamefly,” whereas Redbox gave free movie rentals by social media (Bauman, Deal, Ishak, and Johnson, 2013, Par. 4).

The subsequent report was done among Netflix and its first two rivals Amazon Prime and Hulu. Netflix’s service pricing is reliant on the three separate plans; $7.99 for DVD alone, $7.99 streaming exclusively, and $11.99 for stream/DVD combination of services. Amazon Prime gives $10.99 for Prime (including music, show and movies, and Prime shipping two days), whereas Hulu’s streaming services are $7.99 for streaming movies and TV Shows with Ads.

Concerning content collection, Netflix has multiple licensing agreements with several networks, whereas Amazon’s selection seems not to cover everything that Netflix has to present, and Hulu has been continuously operating on its archives to outdo Netflix with their licensing agreements. Concerning the situation, all three businesses are presently similar with most gadgets, but Netflix is the single one that has touched every country on the planet.

Netflix has one principal foundation of competitive advantage beyond their competitors; Netflix has a recognized brand. Consumers understand they are receiving all-you-can-watch movies and TV shows, original series, ad-free for less than $10 monthly. There was research made in 2015 that recognized Netflix’s trademark name was significantly powerful than either Amazon Primes’ or Hulu’s (Bowman, 2016).

The purpose of the Environmental Scan is to regularly evaluate and define data to identify specific threats and opportunities. In the instance of Netflix, we will go over critical viewpoints as it correlates to environmental scanning. These viewpoints include laws and regulations, the economy, and technology. Moreover, we will further employ Porter’s five forces as it correlates to Netflix. The five forces imply an examination of the rival(s) level in an organization’s business strategy.

The five forces entail of: Threats of new competition, Threat of substitute products or services, Bargaining power of customers (buyers), Bargaining power of suppliers, and finally the Intensity of competitive rivalry. Besides, the report will be examining the trade that Netflix is in by Porter’s Five Forces and determining key factors and drifts concerning said trade. Ultimately, this report will analyze whether those circumstances and tendencies are regarded as threats or opportunities for the company.

The primary environmental factor discussed in this report is about laws and regulations. The most current record for Netflix is the Terms Of Use Agreement, where it is necessary for all subscribers to sign it. In the text, there are particular laws that both the consumers and Netflix need to understand. Even if the document is regular for all consumers, there are specific statutes that vary contingent on the country. Because Netflix is worldwide, they have to be extra careful and need rigorously to comprehend the laws and regulations. For instance, Netflix was not following the Americans with Disabilities Act because they did not offer closed captioning for each video on their website (Griffin, 2015).

The next environmental factor is economic. The economic agent is one of the most critical agents in the environmental scan for all businesses. Society in the post-deflation times has been perceived that a more substantial amount of people are prudent with their funds because they are uncertain if there will be another economic deflation soon.

Consequently, people are restricting their spending on non-essential things and wants (Silicon Angle, 2011). That is the reason Netflix is flourishing in a post-deflation economy when related to the cable businesses. The cable businesses are charging a ludicrous sum of money, where people will end up picking businesses, like Netflix, because they cost a lot less than cable companies do.

Technology is the third environmental factor. Even though Netflix’s origins were grounded in movie rents alone, they changed into instant streaming, which is the crucial piece of their business strategy. Additionally to high-speed internet, Netflix’s technology is the cause they have been capable of getting a hold of consumers everywhere in the globe. One of the most excellent technologies that the company employs is HTML5.

This technology carries about Adaptive HTTP streaming technology, where nearly all processors structures can see and stream from Netflix. Furthermore, it is capable of adjusting the video quality axiomatically founded on resources and bandwidth (Watson, 2010). As an outcome, additional individuals are capable of watching without multiple disruptions.

Demographics is the fourth environmental factor. If we go back to 2007 to the time when Netflix first started its streaming packet to their subscribers. In the first period, personal computers were the exclusive means to stream Netflix and were solely accessible to Americans at that point. Through 2018, Netflix is presently global and accessible on all devices. Presently, Netflix’s demographics entail of 17s to 60s median income levels females and males, with kids, and are diverse racial/ethnic crowds.

Porter’s first force from is “new entrants/competitors.” Netflix has above 93 million spectators globally, with a bit above half of the people from the United States, whereas Hulu has about 12 million watchers (Smith, 2017). Granting that Netflix controls the video streaming subscriber wholes, there are however new competitors seeking to compete with the business. For instance, Hulu gives subscribers one thing that Netflix does not offer. Subsequent day aired TV programs; For Netflix can take nearly a year to obtain the “latest” season. Hulu possesses new episodes from conventional channels such as NBC, FOX, ABC, and others.

Porter’s second force is substitute products. Numerous people are not impressed with a corporation, like Netflix, and there are some determinants after that. A little over half of the United States does not desire to utilize Netflix because they are satisfied with their cable receptacles. Moreover, consumers can stream specific channels (STARZ, HBO, AMC) free when they hold a cable subscription, so they would not need Netflix to stream (Investopedia, 2017).

Other opted to use free streaming that is offered by specific applications that can be added on smart TVs and Smartphones such as Kodi, Stremeo and other similar software media centers. Furthermore, numerous members are choosing to be outdoors more through the springtime and summertime periods and then coming back to Netflix in the autumn.

Porter’s third force is customer’s bargaining power. A problem that turns to be very common for Netflix is about how simple is it is to shift services. Netflix does not give an annual agreement, and the sign-up cost is insignificant. Nonetheless, Amazon Prime and Hulu grant the same tendency of sign-ups. Consequently, Netflix requires giving a solid collection for their subscribers to retain the subscription yearly.

Porter’s fourth force is the supplier’s bargaining power. Netflix needs to keep its agreements with the conventional studios and networks to retain their customers satisfied. Nevertheless, not every deal is equal within the networks; some demand a specific quantity of subscribers, whereas other networks do not have these requirements. Hence, if anyhow the subscriber base declines, Netflix yet has to pay for the equal sum of expense for the remainder of the agreement.

Porter’s fifth force is the competitive rivalry. Netflix has little product differentiation among their rivals. It has even been stated that Amazon Prime appears to give exceedingly more than 17,000 TV shows and movies, whereas Netflix is approximately 10,000 titles (Investopedia, 2017). Even though the number of titles is moderately significant, it is unquestionably more valuable to hold title superiority. For instance, even though Amazon can hold 7,000 additional titles than Netflix, Netflix can hold some programs and films that Amazon does not offer. Regrettably, this could further beat Netflix the opposite direction around if Amazon carries a name that they do not provide. Consequently, Netflix wants to guarantee they offer titles consumers want to watch.

The primary strategic problem Netflix is handling is retardation in United States affiliates. Netflix has nearly 47 million patrons in the United States today. In a poll, over half the population stated they like to watch Netflix over other streaming video services.
Nevertheless, there do exist 134 million homes, and barely 88 million of these homes possess broadband internet. Whereas Netflix still intends to grow nearly double its customers in the U.S, it can be closer to the 25% target. Granting that Netflix has totaled more subscribers than first intended in 2017, it was barely about 1.5 million that happened to be brand-new subscribers in the United States.

Netflix holds a second strategic issue, which is confronting retardation in foreign subscribers. Now that Netflix intends to double the number of customers in the U.S.A, they intend to do the equivalent abroad. Whereas they are aggressively expanding quicker than the United States customers, there are presently inadequate local contenders rising throughout the United Kingdom, Latin America, and Scandinavia. The logic behind this problem is due to Netflix’s programming is lacking globally speaking, whereas local rivals will have local picks to contribute.

Netflix is facing a third strategic issue, dependence on media organizations. One of the main components of Netflix’s value proposition is its programming. Similar to the innovative little local rivals in other countries, Netflix yet has a significant opponent (s) in the US, such as Amazon Prime and Hulu. Content agreements become more and more costly as Netflix grows more successful. While the first quarter of 2017, Netflix struck above $12 billion for content commitments. Not merely is the expense of the content is a problem, it is further the mediations (Levy, 2016).

Netflix’s fourth strategic issue is concentrating on short-term before than long-term. Netflix made a poor decision in 2011 when departing the movie rental service of their streaming on-demand service. When the company took this decision mentioned above, it spoiled some of their customer’s commitment. Nevertheless, it was not the concept that was weak; it was logic tactically to divide the services. Ultimately, it was the loss of information. A switch in websites, and then a rate rose that resulted in a suit. The process they chose was all incorrect because they were concentrating on the short-term instead of the long-term (Fernandez, 2013).

Locally, there is no hesitation that the scenery has become a lot more spirited for Netflix. Netflix is yet the colossal monster on the block, but United States downloads from Amazon Video, HBO Now, Hulu, and Showtime apps via Google Play and Apple’s App Store all together exceeded those of Netflix for the first time. Their virtual advances partially echo Netflix’s far higher acceptance today.

Around 40% of the United States, broadband households at present have Netflix, whereas the other services exclusively do not come close to that level. Amazon Prime has likewise boosted programming investments with innovative content such as The Man in the High Castle, Bosch, and Hand of God, Transparent. It similarly will introduce Woody Allen’s first TV Show. Hulu, which is owned by Comcast Corp, Fox, and Disney, claims its authentic account of TV shows such as Casuals and The Mindy Project beside high-profile plans such as the JJ Abrams’ “11/22/63”.

In the first place, the company should uphold competitive advantage by establishing better cost control for their streaming services. Now, their structure includes higher price variations because of the content authorizing and agreements, laterally with the technical structure that is essential to sustain the content. Eventually, they want to work together with more studios and cable networks. Write up an agreement that will distribute the profits in the contract. If the company does the above mentioned, the networks and studios would be capable of bidding more content without extorting Netflix’s proceeds.

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Following, Netflix needs to improve and develop a healthy bond with their consumers, by increasing their contact with them. The problem in 2011, where Netflix executed a short-term resolution rather than of long-term damage their consumer bond with the loss of communication and raised costs. Alternatively, Netflix announced the price hikes were to benefit the business, and they should have notified customers as they were attempting to get more quality programming.

By including consumers with their plans to expand their content, they would be capable of securing customer commitment better than previously. Eventually, Netflix needs to focus on implementing a far better service globally, still when it occurs to profits. They need to be capable of expanding their programming, by getting better agreements with more studios and different networks that might not be as profitable when contrasted to the US programming available. If Netflix remained capable of providing more content that is international to the abroad customers, they could be capable of gaining impulse in the consumer base and bring down some of the local rivals rising globally.

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Netflix’s Preliminary Strategy Audit. (2019, Feb 16). Retrieved from