Netflix To Dip Toes In Gaming As Subscription Growth Slows

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Netflix has announced plans to launch its own gaming platform. The video streaming giant has hired Mike Verdu, a former executive at EA Sports and Oculus.

While Netflix remains one of the biggest fishes in the streaming service pond, the rise of multiple giants including Prime by Amazon, Apple TV, Disney Plus, and others have made sure that the company is not the only player in the ecosystem any more.

In its quarterly results, Netflix suffered from a decline in its subscriber base of 430,000 in the United States and Canada. Netflix added 1.54 million subscribers globally in the quarter, to end the quarter with 209.18 million subscribers.

Netflix had witnessed huge demand for its service during the pandemic period, with user growth surging in 2020. However, this has led to growth slowing down this year.

This has made the company look to other avenues to increase its revenue and gaming is seen to be the solution. Netflix wants to start with mobile gaming with a plan of producing its own console later.

Netflix had said back in 2019 that one of the biggest rivals of the company is Fortnite, as the game hogs the attention of their prospective viewers.

"We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors. We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO . . . There are thousands of competitors in this highly fragmented market vying to entertain consumers," said Netflix.

Gaming surged to the top of the entertainment pyramid during the pandemic inflicted lockdown across the world and is now considered to be bigger than movies and sports combined in the U.S. The market, $178 billion in 2020, is expected to touch the $200 billion mark by 2023. This is why most of the streaming giants are preparing for the gaming switch.

Apart from Netflix, Amazon has started with Luna, a cloud-gaming software, while Google's YouTube is developing Stadia game-streaming and Apple is working on Apple Arcade.

"We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation, and unscripted TV," said the company. Chief Operating Officer of the company Greg Peters, said in an interview, "We know that fans of those stories want to go deeper. They want to engage further. "

Primarily, the games are supposed to be free and bundled in the same subscription available for the users now. The Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has already given users an interactive experience with the platform and their recent release will surely mark a new age for streaming services.

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