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Friday
Jan252019

Podcast #880: Netflix Audience Numbers

Netflix audience numbers have been a mystery for some time now. World wide Netflix has 130 million subscribers but what and how much they are watching have never been disclosed by the streaming service. In a letter to shareholders Netflix has revealed some of its audience numbers and plans for 2019. We present and discuss this letter on today’s show.

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Netflix Audience Numbers

Netflix audience numbers have been a mystery for some time now. World wide Netflix has 130 million subscribers but what and how much they are watching have never been disclosed by the streaming service. In a letter to shareholders Netflix has revealed some of its audience numbers and plans for 2019. We present and discuss this letter on today’s show.

  • In its first 4 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. In combination with our other movie hits such as: ​Dumplin’​ from director Anne Fletcher, Chris Columbus-produced ​The Christmas Chronicles,​ Alfonso Cuarón’s critically acclaimed ​ROMA​, Paul Greengrass’ ​22 July, T​amara Jenkins’ Private Life​ and the Coen brothers’ ​The Ballad of Buster Scruggs​, we are beginning to have our ​original movie​ offering mirror the success of our series offering for consumer enjoyment. The global reach of our audience and the quality of the experience producing for Netflix continues to attract the world’s top directors. We are expanding the film market: while our films drew bigger and bigger audiences in Q4, the North American box office also set records. Today, five weeks after its Netflix debut, ​ROMA​ is still being exhibited in theaters and has played on over 900 unique screens around the world, including some special 70mm format presentations. People love films...at home ​and​ in theaters. 

  • Around the world, our titles are not only pleasing consumers, but they are transforming the careers of our talent. ​Elite,​ our Spanish original, has been a huge success with over 20 million member households around the world enjoying the series in its first four weeks on service. In addition to being highly watched, social engagement has been phenomenal and the cast’s popularity on social media skyrocketed, continuing to demonstrate our ability to be a launching pad for talent. We were very pleased with our launch of ​”You”​ three weeks ago; we estimate it will be watched by over 40 million member households in its first 4 weeks on Netflix. This binge-worthy show started as a Lifetime linear series in the US, but is now a full Netflix global original. A week ago, we launched ​Sex Education​ from the UK and it is also tracking to be a huge hit (estimated over 40 million households watching the title within the first 4 weeks). 

  • Netflix films and TV shows picked up ​five 2019 Golden Globe wins​, including Best Comedy Series for ​The Kominsky Method ​and Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Michael Douglas and Best Actor in a Drama Series for Richard Madden from ​Bodyguard.​ Alfonso Cuarón won the Golden Globe for Best Feature Director and Best Foreign Language Feature for ​ROMA.​ 

  • As a result of our success with original content, we’re becoming less focused on 2nd run programming. For example, we launched our originals strategy for the unscripted genre only two years ago. Today, Netflix originals, like ​Tidying Up with Marie Kondo​, account for a majority of total unscripted view share on Netflix, while viewing of all unscripted programming has increased meaningfully during that time. We are ready to pay top-of-market prices for second run content when the studios, networks and producers are willing to sell, but we are also prepared to keep our members ecstatic with our incredible original content if others choose to retain their content for their own services.

  • Looking forward in 2019, we will be launching many new highly-anticipated titles including ​The Umbrella Academy​ (February 15th); ​Triple Frontier from J.C. Chandor (March); ​The Irishman​ from Martin Scorsese; 6 Underground​ from Michael Bay; and ​The Politician​ from Ryan Murphy; as well as returning seasons of The Crown​ led by a new cast including Olivia Colman, Ben Daniels, and Helena Bonham Carter; ​13 Reasons Why, La Casa de Papel, Elite​, and, of course, Season 3 of the epic Stranger Things​, coming to members all around the world on July 4th.

  • In the US, we earn around 10% of television screen time2 and less than that of mobile screen time. In other countries, we earn a lower percentage of screen time due to lower penetration of our service. 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. When YouTube went down globally for a few minutes in October, our viewing and signups spiked for that time. Hulu is small compared to YouTube for viewing time, and they are successful in the US, but non-existent in Canada, which creates a comparison point: our penetration in the two countries is pretty similar. There are thousands of competitors in this highly-fragmented market vying to entertain consumers and low barriers to entry for those with great experiences. Our growth is based on how good our experience is, compared to all the other screen time experiences from which consumers choose. Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members.

 

 

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