Who's cool now?!
BY Georgi R. Chakarov
Sandra Bullock in Bird Box
Remember the days when Netflix was the coolest thing out there? Everyone was talking about it; everyone wanted to have their show on Netflix, or even better – produce a “Netflix Original.” Binging was not a trend, it was the rule. For years, it was the only streaming service in town. The place to be.

Once Netflix was killing the TV but now streaming is killing Netflix.

Netflix was the definition of “cool” but things are changing fast as Amazon is rising, Hulu has just finished a record year and Disney and WarnerMedia are about to launch their own streaming services. So who’s cool now?!

Bird Box showed that Netflix has not lost its coolness, but the huge success of the movie backfired with the Bird Box Challenges and hurt the image of the company with negative media coverage. Staying ahead of the trend will get even tougher as competition on the streaming market heats up in 2019. Disney and WarnerMedia will not only launch rival services but also start removing their titles from Netflix, which is no longer the one-stop place for producers to pitch their ideas for great (big-budget) new shows.

Netflix will have to spend much more in 2019 then it did in 2018 - $12 billion. Problem is – it can't afford to do that, with its debt jumping 73% in one year to $8.3 billion. That makes 2019 the perfect year for the premieres of Disney+ and WarnerMedia’s streaming service. First, the hype around them will be huge. Second, their libraries will be huge. Third, all of this will be happening up against a dwindling Netflix catalog and an ever more aggressive content spending at Amazon and Apple.

In one year, Netflix could incur serious losses in terms of content, subscribers and cash. CEO Hastings is playing his own Bird Box Challenge now. How long can he keep his cool before taking off the blindfold?
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