As streaming growth slows, Netflix is focusing on games.
As it grows into video games, Netflix faces a significant battle in keeping users’ attention in the increasingly competitive world of streaming television.
In its most recent statement, the streaming television leader detailed its plans to expand into gaming, revealing that growth is slowing even as the Silicon Valley behemoth spins out blockbuster shows.
Analysts believe Netflix’s move is geared at keeping its own viewers interested by providing new types of entertainment, rather than disrupting the growing gaming business.
According to eMarketer analyst Ross Benes, “Entertainment and tech firms are adopting gaming since it is adjacent to their video offerings, making gaming a rather natural extension of what they currently do.”
“By include gaming, they may eat up more of people’s time and become more ingrained in their consumers’ daily routines.”
Netflix games, according to Benes, will entice customers to stay with the service, but they are unlikely to dramatically increase subscriptions.
Netflix’s initiative, according to Loup Ventures senior partner Gene Munster, is a “sensible approach to maintain and inch up paying subscriptions,” adding that there are roughly two billion gamers globally.
On Wednesday, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter predicted that Netflix’s decision would have “zero” influence on the gaming industry.
In a note to investors, Pachter added, “We regard the move into games as a recognition by management that the video content pipeline is flowing more slowly, with content expenses consistently on the rise.”
“We also see gaming as a ‘shiny new object’ that could divert investors’ attention away from what we see as Netflix’s slowing growth.”
During an earnings call, Netflix’s chief product officer Greg Peters stated that getting into video games will be a multi-year effort, with the company starting modestly in the mobile games market.
Peters explained, “We truly see this as an extension of the core entertainment offering that we’ve been focusing on for the previous 20 years.”
“We’re going to experiment with a range of different games and processes to find what works best for our members.”
Netflix executives have stated that they will use the strengths of their series to create interactive fantasy worlds for fans, and that they are in discussions with video game developers about licensing deals.
Netflix has announced that games will be included in users’ Netflix subscriptions at no extra charge, in addition to programming and films.
Netflix has already experimented with games, publishing an interactive “Bandersnatch” episode of original series “Black Mirror” as well as a free mobile game based on its smash show “Stranger Things.”
“If they don’t, they’ll only draw a few gamers. Brief News from Washington Newsday.