Netflix Misses Q1 Subscriber Targets But Hits Financial Forecast And Confirm $17B Content Budget.
Film Industry News Weekly Digest, Sunday April 25th
Netflix Misses Q1 Subscriber Targets, Blaming Covid-19 Issues, But Beats Financial Forecasts
Netflix reported 208 million global subscribers as of the end of the first quarter, missing its own prediction for 210 million. The streaming giant did beat financial targets, though with earnings per share of $3.75 coming in well ahead of Wall Street analysts’ expectations. Revenue of $7.16 billion also topped the Street.
The subscriber shortfall, which caused the stock to drop more than 10% in after-hours trading, was blamed on issues related to the coronavirus. Simply put, the pandemic gaveth, but also taketh away. “We believe paid membership growth slowed due to the big Covid-19 pull forward in 2020 and a lighter content slate in the first half of this year, due to Covid-19 production delays,” the company said in its quarterly letter to shareholders. “We continue to anticipate a strong second half with the return of new seasons of some of our biggest hits and an exciting film lineup.”
Netflix To Spend $17B On Content In 2021
Netflix has revealed that it will spend $17B on content in 2021 – on par with its 2020 spend.
The streamer noted the figure in its first quarter financial results....In 2019, the company spent a touch more than $15B, up from $12B in 2018, and was estimated to have spent around $17B in 2020 with analysts, including BMO Capital Markets’ Dan Salmon, estimating that it could spend up to $26B by 2026.
‘Who Killed Sara?’ Becomes Netflix’s Most Popular Foreign-Language Series In U.S. As Streamer Reveals Figures For ‘Firefly Lane’ & ‘I Care A Lot’
Mexican thriller series Who Killed Sara? has become Netflix’s most popular non-English language title ever with an estimated 55M subscribers tuning in since its launch last month. On the U.S. feature side, it noted that Rosamund Pike’s I Care A Lot was watched by 56M, Jennifer Garner-fronted Yes Day watched by 62M, Anthony Mackie and Damon Idris’ Outside The Wire watched by 66M people and the last installment of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy scored 51m viewers. Other international highlights include feature film Below Zero from Spain, which was watched by 47M in its first four weeks, feature Space Sweepers from Korea with 26M and rom-com Squared Love from Poland with 31M viewers.
“Another goal is to create great, locally authentic stories in countries all around the world. It’s why our priority for local language titles is to have a big impact in the home territory so we don’t sacrifice local impact for travelability. But we’re increasingly seeing that these local titles find significant audiences around the world, which supports our thesis that great stories are universal: they can come from anywhere and be loved everywhere,” it noted.
Netflix Getting Into Video Games? Streamer Teases More Moves Into Billion-Dollar Business
Greg Peters, COO and Chief Product Officer, who added more smoke to the fire when he talked, with a smile, about the billion-dollar video game business. “We’re in the business of creating these amazing, deep universes and compelling characters and people come to love those universes and want to immerse themselves more deeply and get to know the characters better. We’re trying to figure out all of the different ways that we can increase those points of connection and deepen that fandom and certainly games is a really interesting component of that. Whether it’s gamifying some of the linear storytelling we’re doing like interactive with Bandersnatch and we’ll continue and we’ve actually launched games themselves as part of our licensing and merchandising effort and we’re happy with what we’ve seen. There’s no doubt that games are going to be an important form of entertainment and important modality to deepen that fan experience so we’re going to keep going,” he said.
HBO Max Gains 3 Million Subscribers in Q1, AT&T Beats Wall Street Forecasts
HBO Max gained about 3 million total subscribers sequentially, AT&T said — a number the company should be pleased with, after concerns HBO Max might have trouble retaining subs after a big lift from “Wonder Woman 1984” in December. Last month Warner Bros. said “Godzilla vs. Kong” had the biggest viewing audience than any other film or show on HBO Max since its May 2020 launch, although it didn’t provide any actual numbers. As of the end of March, HBO Max/HBO combined had 44.2 million domestic customers, up 2.7 million from 41.5 million at the end of 2020. Losses on the legacy HBO side were offset by HBO Max’s retail and wholesale growth.
Deloitte Survey: 82% of U.S. Consumers Subscribe to at Least One Paid Streaming Video Service
Deloitte’s annual “Digital Media Trends” survey of 2,009 U.S. consumers was conducted in February 2021. The average U.S. subscriber has four paid video streaming services, and 82% of U.S. consumers subscribe to at least one paid streaming video service, according to In addition, 55% of respondents now watch a free ad-supported video service. Streaming music subscribers pay for an average of two paid music services, and those who subscribe to gaming services pay for an average of three. Subscribers cite an increase in price as the biggest reason they would cancel a paid video, music or gaming service.
Content (35%) and cost (46%) are the most important factors in deciding to subscribe to a new paid streaming video service.
Fifty-two percent find it difficult to access content across so many services, and 49% are frustrated when a service doesn’t make good recommendations for them.
Fifty-three percent of those surveyed are frustrated by needing multiple service subscriptions to access the content they want.
Sixty-six percent get frustrated when content they want to watch is removed from a service.
Forty percent of U.S. consumers note that they would prefer to pay $12 a month for a streaming video service with no ads, versus 60% of consumers who would accept some ads for a reduction in monthly subscription costs.
Sixty-two percent of Generation Z and 72% of Millennials would rather see ads personalized to their likes and activity than generic ones. However, only 40% of consumers overall said they would be willing to provide more personal information to receive advertising targeted to their interests.
Disney, Sony sign huge licensing pact
In a huge deal that will eventually bring Spider-Man films and spin-offs to Disney+, Disney and Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) have struck a multi-year post-pay 1 window arrangement in the US.
'Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Tops Original Streaming Rankings in Week 2
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier soared in its second week, becoming the most watched original streaming series in terms of total viewing time. The Disney+ show starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan totaled 628 million minutes of watch time in the week of March 22-28, a 27 percent gain over its premiere week.
Competing with the SVoD giants: UK broadcasters find catch-up success
The UK is also the only market in the European big five where the most watched long-form streaming service is a local broadcaster’s catch-up platform: 52% of consumers reported watching BBC iPlayer in the previous month, while Netflix was in second on 46%. In comparison, Netflix was the most viewed SVoD or catch-up service in France, Germany and Spain, while Amazon Prime Video topped the list in Italy. Overall, UK broadcasters have been more successful in converting viewers to their catch-up platforms than their European counterparts. As the preference for online content grows across all markets, can broadcasters from the other European markets learn from the UK’s catch-up success?
Viewing habits across the big five European markets–France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK–are shifting online. According to Ampere’s Q1 2021 survey, for example, 48% of UK internet users now report that online services are the main way they watch content, up from 37% in Q1 2018. In order to keep these audiences engaged with their content, broadcasters in Europe as elsewhere will be reliant on their online catch-up services.
Across the big five European markets overall, 34% report watching only SVoD services, while 33% watch both SVoD and catch-up services, and just 9% watch only catch-up services. However, in the UK, almost half of consumers (49%) watch both SVoD and catch-up services, 18% watch only SVoD services, while 15% only watch catch-up services, making it the strongest catch-up market in Europe.
Quibi Titles Will Be Renamed Roku Originals Under New Streaming Banner
Roku, which acquired most of the programming from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s defunct startup Quibi last January, has rebranded the shows as Roku Originals. The streaming provider used the acquisition to declare its entry into the original programming business, and subsequently announced other projects and acquisitions. Today’s announcement of the originals label mentioned that more information about the Quibi lineup, including release dates, would be disclosed in May. Roku is scheduled to give an online presentation to advertisers at the NewFronts on May 3.
Roku Originals will be available on the company’s free, ad-supported destination, the Roku Channel. More than 75 originals, including a dozen unreleased series, will stream for the first time on The Roku Channel this year. The announcement teased Quibi talent including Anna Kendrick (Dummy), Chrissy Teigen (Chrissy’s Court), Lena Waithe (You Ain’t Got These), Idris Elba (Elba vs. Block), Kevin Hart (Die Hart), and Liam Hemsworth (Most Dangerous Game).
Popcorn Time Asset Freeze Expanded in Piracy Suit
PayPal-based assets of the companies behind Popcorn Time will be frozen until further notice, per a Virginia federal judge's preliminary injunction in a suit from several Hollywood companies who say their films are being pirated on the site.
Theaters Promote First-Ever Cinema Week to Encourage Moviegoing
A broad coalition of theater owners are staging Cinema Week, a six-day event in June designed to reenergize moviegoing as the film business emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of cinemas across the country will showcase exclusive content, offer exclusive merchandise and arrange for special guests, including filmmakers and talent. The event runs June 22-27.