Last quarter, Netflix lost subscribers for the first time in a decade. It came as a major shock and sent the stock price tumbling down. Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers and expects to lose 2 million more by July. Needless to say, major changes are in the works as the company tries to reverse the trend, but they’ll take time to materialize. In the meantime, Netflix continues to add quality-of-life features to its apps, like the new Category Hub.
Netflix brings a new Category Hub to TVs
One of the many problems that every streaming service struggles with is content discovery. Many of us spend hours scrolling through a menu every week in search of the perfect series or movie. That search is often fruitless, and we end up rewatching episodes of Friends or The Office instead. Netflix has released a number of interesting features over the years in order to 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-hand menu on both adult and kids’ profiles. There, you’ll see your personalized Top 3 categories based on what you love to regularly watch. This new immersive experience will also include curated collections to celebrate local holidays like Earth Day or International Women’s Day, as well as globally popular categories like anime, drama, and children & family for when you’re in the mood for something different.
This is essentially a revamp of the Categories row that used to show up on the home screen. By serving you your top 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 feature approximately 70 categories in all. You’ll see your personalized top 3 categories first, 15 that are globally popular, and then 55 more that are locally relevant. Not every category will be available in every country.
Why is Netflix losing subscribers?
As useful as the feature might be, the lack of a Category Hub wasn’t the reason that Netflix lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers last quarter. Part of the problem is undoubtedly the rising level of competition. Disney Plus is churning out new Marvel and Star Wars shows virtually every month. HBO Max spent a year streaming blockbuster movies the same day they hit theaters. The Office permanently moved to Peacock.
Other factors include Netflix’s decision to pull out of Russia, all of the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the neverending torrent of price hikes. As of its latest price hike, Netflix’s standard plan costs $15.49 a month in the US. That’s more expensive than virtually any other streaming service on the market. It’s no wonder that the company is suddenly considering introducing 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.