The Netflix lobby metric
Over a three-hour dinner, Mr. Sarandos was charming and cheerful, dressed in Levi’s and sneakers. You’d never know he’d been through a series of Job-level setbacks over the past few months. First, his father, with whom he was very close, died. Shortly after, his mother-in-law, Jacqueline Avant, with whom he was also very close, was shot dead when she encountered a burglar at her Beverly Hills home in the middle of the night. Known in Hollywood for her elegance, art collection, philanthropy and community organization in Watts, California, Ms. Avant was the wife of Clarence Avant, a music mogul known as the “Black Godfather.”
Then, on top of Mr. Sarandos, Netflix slipped from rapid growth to grind-it-out. (The stock peaked above $700 a share in November 2021 and has now fallen below $200.)
The rise of Mr. A community college dropout from a video store clerk in Arizona to the height of Hollywood, Sarandos is legendary.
“He’s been more influential in movies and TV shows than anyone else” ever had,” Barry Diller told me. “He has shattered the power of the old film companies that had been in their possession for nearly 100 years. They are now irrelevant to determining the game and the rules of the day. If there’s one more Hollywood, it’s him.”
Just a few years ago, the Netflix lobby was the coolest place on Earth. Now it is suddenly dark. In her “Saturday Night Live” monologue last weekend, Natasha Lyonne, the star of Netflix’s “Russian Doll”, sarcastically broke out that the “two things you definitely want to be associated with right now are Russia and Netflix.”
After winning the pandemic, Netflix is now in its own version of its survival drama ‘Squid Game’. The company has tentatively hit a cap of some 220 million subscribers after imagining that its global empire could hit a billion, and that has thrown a wrench into the future of Netflix and streaming in general. Wall Street suddenly turned a cold shoulder on its former darling, telling Netflix, Guess what guys, you need to make money, not just grow subscriptions.