Trouble for Meghan and Harry? Netflix nightmare as streaming services take battering

Prince Harry and Meghan's Netflix deal critiqued by Foufas

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Meghan and Harry announced they were working to become “financially independent” and would be taking a “step back” from the Firm in 2019. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex then fully stepped down from royal duties in 2020, and have gone on to establish new careers.

Under commercial divisions of their Archewell Foundation, the pair signed lucrative deals with streaming services Netflix and Spotify.

Meghan and Harry announced their deal with Netflix in September 2020 and their partnership sees the couple making a range of content for the company.

They aim to produce documentaries, docuseries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming, all of which aim to be “inspirational,” the pair said in September 2020.

One of the couple’s first projects to be announced was a docuseries about competitors involved in The Invictus Games, which is currently taking place in the Netherlands.

Also in the works is an animated series with the working title ‘Pearl’ which charts “the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who finds inspiration in a variety of influential women throughout history”.

However, any hopes for the success of their projects could be dashed as the company has been hard hit as households across the country cancelled their streaming subscriptions.

Streaming services, including Netflix and Disney+, have been dealing with the fallout of families readjusting priorities as they continue to grapple with the rising cost of living.

The latest figures from market research firm Kantar show a little more than 1.5 million video-on-demand accounts were scrapped in the first three months of 2022.

Netflix also reported a decline in its share price when announcing its earnings for the first quarter.

Adam Seagrave, of trading investment platform Saxo Markets, commented on the decline of Netflix following these latest developments.

Mr Seagrave said: “The nightmare for Netflix may continue this week as the streaming service announces its Q1 earnings following a 39% drop off in its share price compared to this time last year.

“Following a boom through lockdown, the company missed its subscriber target in its last report in January and with users counting their pennies more than ever, their user growth may see another hit.”

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He went on to note that the report from the media consultancy firm highlighted that 38 percent more people are planning to cancel their services to save money going forward.

The UK Sales Trader at Saxo Markets added that this significant decline in users shows that streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are lower on the list of priorities for those adjusting to new financial factors.

He said: “The battle to prioritise spending continues for consumers as the cost of living grows with inflation hitting a 30-year high of 7% and oil/gas prices driving up energy and petrol bills.

“Streaming services are quickly falling down the pecking order and negative earnings from Netflix today could be an indicator that these entertainment stalwarts, such as Amazon Prime and Disney+, may struggle to prove their worth in the future.”

Meghan and Harry arrived in the Netherlands late last week to attend the Invictus Games and the pair were filmed by a crew from Netflix.

While the exact details of the deal have not been disclosed, several reports have suggested it could be worth in excess of $100m (£72m).

A film crew followed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex while they met injured military veterans and hitched a ride on mini Land Rovers on the first day of the Games.

The Invictus Games was where the Sussexes made their first public appearance together almost five years ago.

Meghan and Harry attended the Invictus Games opening ceremony in Toronto, in September 2017, although the pair sat about 18 seats apart.

This year’s Games, taking place in The Hague, marks the couple’s first public return to Europe since quitting royal duties.

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