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Netflix unleashes Jane Austen to halt subscription drop

Persusaion star Dakota Johnson.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Persuasion is heading to Netflix soon, with the Jane Austen novel getting a star-studded adaptation, and it could be the secret to boosting the streaming service's subscriptions.

The film adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion is set to be released on July 15 2022 and has a great cast including Dakota Johnson, Richard E. Grant and Henry Golding, and adds to the streaming service's catalog of period dramas.

Much like Bridgerton, this new film is set in the Regency Era and follows Anne Elliot (Dakota Johnson), an unmarried 27-year-old woman in the early 19th century who seemingly has slim romantic prospects. But Captain Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis), the naval officer Anne turned down eight years previously, returns to town.

With Bridgerton breaking records and even surpassing viewing figures for the first series, it definitely seems like there's a key interest in period dramas, including The Crown which is about to enter its fifth season. So is there a chance that a new Jane Austen could bring subscriptions back up?

Facing up to each other in Persuasion.

Henry Golding and Cosmo Jarvis in Persuasion(Image credit: Netflix)

Recently, shares in Netflix have dropped by 35% after it revealed a decrease in subscribers in recent months, admitting that it was "losing customers to rivals," while struggling to expand due to password sharing among users.

According to the BBC, Netflix estimates more than 100 million households watch the service for free using shared passwords, which they said was making it hard to attract new subscribers in some countries.

Despite the drop-off, Netflix remains the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 222 million paid memberships in over 190 countries, and some experts seem doubtful that Netflix will continue to decline.

But Julian Aquilina, senior TV analyst at the media research firm Enders Analysis told the BBC: "The streaming market is maturing and the high expectations people had about Netflix are being reset.

"But I think it will remain the market leader, it has such a commanding position. If people are going to ditch a subscription, Netflix won't be the first one they choose."

Meanwhile Squid Game remains Netflix’s most popular show of all time across all languages, with it being viewed for 1.65 billion hours in its first four weeks, and with a second series on the way, this could definitely help Netflix even further.

Lucy Buglass
Lucy Buglass

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story and Black Mirror, but recently she's loving everything about Apple TV's Severance