A daily newsletter guide to what is happening on your screens - TV, streaming, movies, games, VR, AR
Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Netflix fails to meet expectations. Still does fine.
Netflix - still popular. Just maybe not at Fonzie-levels anymore.
Netflix posted it's Q2 results today. As the industry leader in screen media, all eyes are on the company to determine the strength of the sector. The entire industry adjusts it's expectations and targets based on what Netflix are reporting.
This quarter, Netflix added 1.54 million global paid net subscriber additions. Analysts expected 1.75 million. But, good news: Revenue is up with $7.34 billion - analysts expected only $7.32 billion.
Netflix blamed the coronavirus pandemic for its choppy growth but noted that the company’s engagement per household and retention in Q2 2021 were stronger than the numbers from the company’s pre-COVID earnings in Q2 2019. The company anticipates 3.5 million net subscriber adds in Q3 2021.
The big Netflix story at the moment is the news that the company is looking to invest in video games. Netflix clarified this news story, advising that they are only looking at mobile games. Anyone expecting to have a big screen gaming experience via Netflix should manage their expectations.
Is Disney chipping away at Netflix?
There seems to be no question that the heat has gone away from Netflix somewhat over the past year or two. Netflix shows simply don't dominate conversation in the way that they once seemed to.
While I don't quite buy into Parrot Analytics as a measurement of how successful a show has been (PA report on social media commentary around shows, using that as an indicator as to how many people watched a show/movie), it does speak to the marketing strength of shows and streaming/broadcast/cable services.
Parrot Analytics report that Netflix’s share of worldwide demand interest fell below 50% for the first time in Q2. Meanwhile:
Disney+ more than doubled its share of demand interest in the second quarter compared with a year ago, and Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV+ and HBO Max are also gaining, according to Parrot.
This year Netflix will release over 70 movies. That is more than a movie a week. Now, compare that to most Hollywood studios that produce, at most, 20 a year.
These are all movies going directly to Netflix, bypassing cinema screens. Today Netflix announced that it promoted movie executives Kira Goldberg and Ori Marmur to head up a team that will develop and produce big-budget movies. Netflix has played in this space before, but arguably one could say that the company hasn't had a lot of success in this area. They've made a few, but nothing that has really caught on culturally (one could maybe make an argument for Bird Box, but that was a mid-budget movie - these will be far bigger in scope).
This past week, US trade organization the National Association of Theatre Owners complained about Disney taking Black Widow to streaming day and date with it's cinema release. With streamers like Netflix investing more and more in big screen experiences for the home viewer and HBO Max making IP-driven movies for its streaming service (this week a big news story surrounded the rumored casting of the titular Batgirl in an upcoming streaming-only movie), it just makes those NATO complaints seem out-of-step with the real threat to it's industry.
HBO Max moves to Snapchat
This is actually a smart use of capturing an audience - the struggle for streamers that aren't branded Netflix is getting users to regularly visit their service. To make a habit of it. HBO Max are flipping that idea and taking content to where it's audience is.
Snapchat users with an HBO Max account will soon be able to watch HBO Max shows online with friends. Viewing parties will allow up to 63 other Snapchatters. At launch, this is being used only for pilot episodes, but I'm sure the company will be looking closely at the metrics and seeing opportunities for conversions.
John Wick prequel series The Continental, set 40 years prior to the events of the films, will now be an eventized short-run three-episode series comprising of 90 minute episodes. Read: Complex
Jason Momoa will produce and appear in a competitive rock climbing series for HBO Max. Read: THR
Nickelodeon is working on an animated Baby Shark movie. Just when you thought it was safe to go into the kiddie-pool water again. Read: thefutoncritic
Comcast may not buy ViacomCBS, but it is looking to partner with the company to take NBC content internationally. This may have major ramifications, taking yet another US content supplier off the table (NBC) for international TV networks. Read: Deadline
When Victoria Cartagena plays the role of Renee Montoya in the show Batwoman, she will be playing a different version of that same character she played in the TV show Gotham. Read: Dark Horizons
Australian TV executive David Leckie has died, aged 70. Read: TBI
This doesn't seem like a surprise, but The Good Fight has been renewed for a sixth season for Paramount+. Read: Deadline
Rather than release a generic promo for the upcoming HBO show The Problem with Jon Stewart, there is instead this mini-movie promo featuring some well-known faces portraying well-known tech billionaires rocket ship ambitions. Especially timely today with Jeff Bezos spending a whopping 11 minutes in space this morning - that's almost enough time to watch a We Bare Bears episode.
Chip 'n' Dale: Park Life debuts on Disney+ July 28.
Jackass 4: Jackass Forever debuts in cinemas Oct 22. The movie stars 50 year-old Johnny Knoxville, a man old enough to have a grandson who would be age appropriate to insert fireworks into his rectum.
One of Us Is Lying debuts on Peacock soon.
Malignant debuts in cinemas and HBO Max Sept 10.
Homeroom debuts on Hulu August 12.
Fena: Pirate Princess debuts on Adult Swim August 14.
Clickbait debuts on Netflix August 25.
Control Z returns to Netflix for season 2 August 4.
Gone For Good debuts on Netflix August 13.
What's next? Tomorrow.
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.