Noting “high member satisfaction,” Netflix isn’t showing any sign of slowing down with the release of new quarterly numbers that handily beat Wall Street expectations.
The streamer says it added 1.5 million U.S. subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2018, but that number is dwarfed by the 7.3 million it added internationally.
And though Netflix remains dominant in Internet entertainment, it’s also somewhat humble.
“We earn consumer screen time…away from a very broad set of competitors. We compete with (and lose to) [popular video game] Fortnite more than HBO,” the company says in a new letter to shareholders.
“Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members.”
Here’s what’s new with Netflix
If you’re a Netflix customer, here’s what you need to know.
You’re going to be paying more for the service soon
By now you’ve probably heard that Netflix is raising prices across the board by up to 18%.
Existing subscribers will feel the pinch as their rate goes up over the first and second quarter of 2019. New members will pay the new higher pricing immediately.
“We change pricing from time to time as we continue investing in great entertainment and improving the overall Netflix experience,” the company said in its shareholder letter.
“We want to ensure that Netflix is a good value for the money and that our entry price is affordable.”
You can read more about the price increases here.
Netflix is now an original movie powerhouse
Netflix is currently riding high after big wins at the Golden Globe Awards and the debut of the wildly successful new original film called Bird Box.
The original flick stars Sandra Bullock as a mother of two who must survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by an ominous unseen presence.
“In its first four weeks on Netflix, we estimate that Bird Box from director Susanne Bier will be enjoyed by over 80 million member households, and we are seeing high repeat viewing,” the streamer notes.
In addition to Bird Box, Netflix also has a lot of other hit movies under its belt.
These include The Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Dumplin’ from director Anne Fletcher, The Christmas Chronicles from producer Chris Columbus, the critically acclaimed ROMA from director Alfonso Cuaron and more.
“We are beginning to have our original movie offering mirror the success of our series offering for consumer enjoyment,” Netflix writes.
“The global reach of our audience and the quality of the experience producing for Netflix continue to attract the world’s top directors.”
The 2019 content slate is starting to take shape
Here are the upcoming movies and returning series that Netflix specifically called out in its letter:
- The Irishman from director Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel and more
- 6 Underground from director Michael Bay, featuring Ryan Reynolds and Mélanie Laurent, among others
- The Politician from director Ryan Murphy, a series starring Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow and more
- Season 3 of Stranger Things (coming July 4)
- Returning seasons of The Crown, 13 Reasons Why and more
Interactive movies where you choose the plot are now a thing
Did you or your children ever read one of those choose-your-own-ending books? Netflix took that idea and brought it to the screen with the December 28 release of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
Using proprietary software called Branch Manager, Netflix can now map out all the possibilities of a story and then let you decide which way to take the character.
“Bandersnatch [is] our first interactive movie for adults, allowing viewers to make decisions on behalf of the lead character,” the company notes. “We’ve created thousands of different pathways to make it through the story, including multiple endings.”
Going from linear TV to a Netflix original may be the new gold standard
Netflix is calling attention to a new romantic thriller series called You that launched right after Christmas 2018.
“We estimate it will be watched by over 40 million member households in its first four weeks on Netflix,” the company brags.
But it’s not just those numbers that make it noteworthy.
“This binge-worthy show started as a Lifetime linear series in the U.S., but is now a full Netflix global original.”
So while Netflix continues to invest big money in original content, traditional linear TV may emerge as a proving ground for shows. If a show can make it there, it may deserve a shot to gain an even larger worldwide audience by jumping to a streaming platform like a Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu for future episodes.
Could this be the wave of the future in the entertainment world? Only time will tell. We’ll have to stay tuned and see!
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