No Joke: Netflix Cutting Fees for Comedy Specials – PYMNTS.com

No Joke: Netflix Cutting Fees for Comedy Specials – PYMNTS.com

Netflix is altering the way it pays some of the stand-up comics it platforms, a change that would give comedians less money and more control over their work.
The streaming company has recently begun licensing some stand-up specials for two years, paying the comedians $200,000, according to a Friday (Sept. 23) report by The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter. In the past, many comedians got lump sums of as high as $1 million, helping to pay production costs.
As the report notes, Netflix’s comedy offerings have helped raise the profile of comics like Hannah Gadsby and Ali Wong, while also showcasing major acts like Chris Rock, who have been paid tens of millions for their specials.
Netflix was not immediately available for comment Friday.
Read more: Netflix’s New Tier Subscription May Reach 40M by End of ‘23
The move is one of many tactics Netflix has employed lately to rein in spending after reporting a drop in subscribers for the first time in nearly a decade.
Earlier this month, the company said its new ad-supported streaming service could reach around 40 million viewers worldwide by the third quarter of next year.
The company’s metric for “projected unique viewers” for its ad-supported service is likely to be greater than the actual level of subscribers, as more than one person per will likely use Netflix.
Netflix said it could have 4.4 million unique viewers globally at year’s end, 1.1 million of them from the U.S. It’s betting that the ad-supported service, which will cost less than its normal non-ad streaming, could entice new users and make up for what it lost.
Get the report: Subscription Commerce
PYMNTS research has found that rising costs and growing frustration have led viewers to rethink their streaming subscriptions and cancel those they deem unwanted.
In the “Subscription Commerce Tracker,” PYMNTS reported that companies should reassess their offerings and devise ways to provide customized consumer experiences.
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