IT'S less Netflix and chill to more of a cold shoulder.

The temperature around the streaming service has steadily dropped - but while reports of its demise have been alarmist, the numbers of people stopping their subscriptions to the platform have actually been far less than the company predicted.

The US online viewing platform projected a post-pandemic plunge in viewing numbers of around two million subscribers between April and July. Those figures actually only dropped by one million, which is still a hefty decrease. 

A fall in viewers began earlier this year, the first drop in a decade, and the trend is continuing. But why?

Netflix has long prompted the classic experience of spending so much time trying to find something to watch that you run out of time to watch anything. 

I can easily spend an hour desperately scrolling through the overwhelming choice on offer before I head to the internet to Google "best shows on Netflix 2022" and take up another unhappy half an hour of dismayed reading about what people think of as "best". 

By this point, it's bedtime.

But, even so, Netflix was such a part of the cultural landscape that it's dismaying to see it losing its footing. 

Looking at why Netflix is losing subscribers, the failure to find anything decent to watch has become an increasingly common pastime. I have no interest in reality TV so that rules out vast swathes of content - glam ladies in eight inch heels selling impossibly unaffordable properties? No ta. Folk getting married after one meeting? Absolutely not.

I'm not for a moment suggesting there's anything wrong with these programmes. My taste in television is relentlessly rubbish. I love a medical drama or a cop show and that's about my limit.

So if I'm finding Netflix too crammed full of cheap, mindless clickbait then... it's no wonder people with actual good taste are switching off in droves.

The halcyon days of must-watch shows like Making a Murderer feel like a past relic. 

If you do find something you love and become attached to it, Netflix has also developed the frustrating habit of killing shows off after two seasons. 

One of the other battles for Netflix was the end of lockdown and the return to socialising and office life. But Covid-19 is still surely still more of a help than a hindrance for Netflix. 

The pandemic will still be having that influence. Infection rates are still high and people are still isolating at home with the virus. Probably the main difference between now and then is that having Covid-19 largely meant having a week or so off work to rest and recover.

Now we've pivoted towards working from home with covid, a truly unhealthy way of dealing with illness. 

But it does mean that, while people are at home with more time for TV, they don't have the luxury of an all-day binge. 

There was such a moral panic around streaming services like Netflix strangling television, in the same way traditional media becomes agitated about the rise of young people accessing their news through TikTok.

Figures out last week showed the proportion of young people turning to the social media platform for news and views has risen yet again. No need to fret though. It just takes some creativity from established media to repackage its content in a way that appeals across platforms - the Washington Post has done this to great effect.

Any teenager of my acquaintance is well across current affairs and very well informed, despite getting all their information from TikTok. 

Interestingly, though, the latest figures show that it's this age group - the under-24s - who are turning away from Netflix and back to alternatives like BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub. 

Are they all suddenly discovering the joys of Silent Witness?

More likely it's a money thing. Netflix is suffering from competition. Apple TV offers a healthy number of high-end, must-watch TV shows with Disney Plus dripping in options. 

Any time a middle class commentator mentions that young folk might save up a mortgage deposit by cutting out avocados, coffee and Netflix, people become apoplectic.

Fair enough, you're not going to speedily accrue £10,000 from chilling without the Netflix but streaming services quickly add up. 

In a cost of living crisis, when young people are more likely to be on zero hours contracts or struggling with student loans that don't rise to cover increasing costs, it's the optional extras that are the first to go. 

Netflix has too long relied on quantity over quality. Its ratio of rot to recommended is way out of kilter but seems to be trying harder with shows like the brilliant Heartstopper. 

The streaming service has said it is looking at price points and subscription prices but this way forward is unlikely to make a difference unless it seriously looks at reducing the rot and boosting the quality of its offering.

Otherwise the chilly temperatures will freeze into an Ice Age for what was once a trailblazing service.