Gaming

Netflix continues its march forward, wants to overtake Disney as entertainment empire

Netflix has garnered an additional 4.4 million subscribers to the network, better than expected despite increasingly fierce competition, and with its entry into video games and related products, it aims to surpass Disney as an entertainment empire.

The online video service now has 213.5 million paid subscriptions worldwide and expects 222 million by the end of the year, according to a statement released Tuesday. By comparison, its main rival in this market, Disney, had 116 million subscribers in early July.

“We are still small,” the group commented, “with many opportunities for growth.” Netflix thus mentions a figure from the Nielsen firm, which calculated that in September the giant of the red N represented “only” 6% of the time spent in front of a screen in the United States, tied for the highest with YouTube.

After a boost linked to the coronavirus pandemic and blackouts (+25 million subscribers in a year), Netflix had seen its growth rate slow in recent quarters. But during the three months from July to September, the streaming service picked up again (+ 9.4% for a year), driven by the Europe, Africa and Middle East regions, as well as Asia.

The Los Gatos, California group expects to gain another 8.5 million net subscribers in the fourth quarter, in line with market forecasts.

In the third quarter, Netflix posted revenue of $ 7.48 billion, up 16% year-over-year, slightly better than analyst expectations, according to the consensus established by FactSet.

Net income increased 83% to $ 1.44 billion, or $ 3.19 per share, significantly better than the $ 2.56 expected by the market.

– “Squid Game” at 142 million –

Netflix, which is by far the world’s leading video platform, has recently taken a big hit in recent weeks with its “Squid Game” series.

Launched in mid-September, the program, with a limited budget of $ 21 million, has already been viewed by more than 142 million subscribers, a record, according to figures updated Tuesday, of about two-thirds of users. That’s almost double that of “Bridgerton,” the second most popular series, viewed by 82 million subscriber households.

Netflix recently estimated, according to internal documents cited by the Bloomberg agency, the value of “Squid Game” at almost 900 million dollars, although it is not directly generated by the group.

The subscription video service has also been in the spotlight recently for the show filmed by comedian Dave Chappelle. In particular, he made mocking comments about transgender people, sparking controversy.

Under pressure, Netflix refused to remove the show from the platform.

Unlike Disney, Amazon, or AT&T (HBO), its main streaming competitors, Netflix is ​​not a diverse group, and at the moment you can only rely on their platform.

To expand its activities, it recently acquired a video game studio, Night School Studio. During the presentation of the results, Co-Director Reed Hastings envisioned aloud the launch, in three years, of a game “Squid Game”, fully integrated into the platform.

Number three, Greg Peters, has indicated that the group may make more acquisitions in the world of video games, but “don’t expect us to get into a shopping spree,” he said.

Netflix also partnered with Walmart to create a dedicated space for its derivative products on the distribution giant’s e-commerce site. On Tuesday it indicated that demand for products affiliated with the “Squid Game” universe was “strong” and that the first deliveries were already underway.

“A company like Disney is always ahead of us when it comes to the ability to build a universe, but we are making great strides,” said Reed Hastings, noting the group’s immense ambition beyond video content. It’s “very exciting to catch up in the next three to five years and hopefully outperform them in terms of the full range,” which combines all aspects of entertainment.

The goal, according to the co-founder? “To be the place where everyone goes for most of their entertainment.”

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