Dhe streaming giant Netflix attracted fewer new users with its series and films in the second quarter than ever before in a quarter. In the three months to the end of June, the global number of subscribers only increased by 1.5 million to a total of a good 209 million, as the company announced on Tuesday after the US market closed. The forecast for the current quarter was also relatively meager with 3.5 million new customers. The streaming market leader is under pressure in the face of increased competition and now wants to expand into new markets.
Netflix boss Reed Hastings does not believe that people will lose interest in streaming after the pandemic. “The growth story remains intact, at least for the next few years,” he said in a video interview after the quarterly report was presented. Hastings is also not afraid of streaming competitors such as Hollywood giant Walt Disney and other financially strong rivals such as WarnerMedia with the popular pay channel HBO (“Game of Thrones”) or Amazon, who want to strengthen themselves through mergers and acquisitions. “We don’t see any major headwinds from new streaming competitors.”
No comparison to the Corona year 2020
Netflix was also able to score points with some productions in the past quarter. For example, the second season of the French crook series “Lupine” was a hit that was accessed by 54 million user accounts in the first week alone. Such successes pale in comparison to the streaming boom triggered by the Corona crisis in 2020. In the same period last year, when many people were stuck at home due to a pandemic, there was a real rush on Netflix. In the first half of 2020, the company recorded rapid growth of over 25 million new users.
The pandemic has led to an unusual distortion of the numbers, wrote Netflix in a letter to shareholders. On the other hand, financially speaking, the quarter went far better than a year ago. Net income rose nearly 90 percent to $ 1.4 billion and revenues grew 19 percent to $ 7.3 billion. It was actually clear that this time the big blockbusters were not to be expected due to production problems caused by the pandemic. But when it comes to the outlook, analysts expected more. This caused the share to plummet sharply after the trading session, but the price quickly recovered.
In addition to the main business with streaming, Netflix is increasingly setting the course to penetrate new markets. In June, the television pioneer opened an online shop for fan articles. The offer is still small, but in the future Netflix could tap into a significant additional source of income through merchandising – following the example of its large rival Disney.
Netflix as a video game provider
Following the signing of Facebook gaming expert Mike Verdu, plans for an attack in the video game business are also becoming more specific. “We are in the early stages,” said Netflix.
The company confirmed a plan recently reported by financial service Bloomberg, according to which games will be made available on the Netflix streaming platform at no additional charge. The trend of running video games on servers in the network and letting users play them on all possible devices via streaming over the Internet is gaining momentum with offers from Microsoft, Google and Nvidia among others. Hastings has been emphasizing for years that Netflix not only competes with other streaming providers, but also with social media, YouTube and a number of other forms of digital entertainment.