The three planks of Netflix's strategy to stoke growth are beginning to pick up pace: pricing optimisation, charging of non-paying users and advertising are returning benefits, if at different rates. For Q2, Netflix announced growth of 5.9 million subscribers (+8% YoY) with revenues growing but at a slower rate ($1.83 billion, +2.7% YoY)

Netflix's advertising tier remains predictably peripheral. However the restructuring of its product offering and an influx of potential new subscribers who find themselves kicked out of other accounts could result in the company beginning to present to advertisers what they really want: viewers that they cannot reach easily elsewhere, if not yet at scale

The published draft Media Bill does not appear to present major issues for Netflix from a compliance standpoint, however, a clearer understanding of what "appropriate prominence" for the PSBs means is needed to calculate the impact on the streamer's access to viewers

We forecast broadcaster viewing to shrink to below half of total video viewing by 2028 (48%)—down from 64% today—as streaming services gain share of long-form viewing time.

On the key advertising battleground of the TV set, broadcasters will still retain scale with a 63% viewing share by 2028, even as SVOD and YouTube double their impact.

Short-form video will continue to displace long-form as video-first apps (e.g. YouTube, Twitch, TikTok) gain further popularity and others (e.g. Facebook, Instagram) continue a relentless pivot to video. This will expand the amount of video watched and transition habits—even amongst older demographics.

Prime Video is a vital, freestanding component of Amazon’s sticky and fast-growing Prime subscription bundle—but it is also the key cog in the company’s overall video marketplace strategy

With the Prime subscriber base and Fire TV operating system driving scale, Prime Video and the ad-supported Freevee guarantee traffic, foster competition and maintain quality—ensuring leverage to deal with suppliers

However, the entertainment platform market is fiercely competitive and video is different from socks: content can’t be commoditised, meaning that Amazon must allow third-party brand building

The games industry, with the potential to become the world’s largest media and entertainment sector by revenue, is undergoing profound transformation.

The consolidation of major developers is a response to a revenue model pivoting toward subscription, with direct consequences for those already in the subscription space: film, TV and music.

A technology-led creative medium, with an audience approaching three billion gamers, is seeing its franchises become more valuable and useful than ever.

A year after sub-par results brought a reckoning upon the whole streaming sector, Netflix backed up an affirming Q4 with another positive showing by its core business—allowing attention to shine on its more peripheral growth initiatives

The slower-than-expected rollout of Netflix's attempt to monetise non-paying users—dubbed "paid sharing"—indicates the difficulty of the project, but resistance will be felt even more by weaker competitors. Meanwhile, ARPU figures are very promising for the new ad-supported tier, but scale is assumedly still small

While Netflix continues to optimise its offerings, its competition remains hesitant—they appear no closer to understanding what their streaming products should be and how they should sit within their wider businesses

Broadcaster decline accelerated in 2022, with record drops in reach and time spent. This was primarily driven by the lightest and youngest viewers leaving broadcast television while over-65s also reduced their viewing for the first time.

Loss of lighter viewers threatens the future viewing base of broadcasters and relevance to a new generation. Further, broadcaster status as the home of mass audiences becomes compromised.

However, retention of lighter viewers is not yet a lost cause. They are amongst the heaviest Netflix viewers, and the very lightest are spending more time in front of the TV set than previously—suggesting enduring appetite for TV-like content.

Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard is in trouble. US, UK, and European regulators may make the deal impossible for Microsoft—and a disaster for Activision and the wider industry. 

Sony’s late improvement in PlayStation 5 sales is only just enough to reach its target numbers for the year. It needs a more dynamic approach to a rapidly changing industry, and a less dogmatic message to consumers and regulators. 

Netflix Games is more than a trial—it’s on track to become a major games platform. 

As Reed Hastings stepped aside as co-CEO, Netflix beat its (last ever) subscriber add forecast—7.7 million v. 4.5 million—leading to a revenue boost, alongside a gradually-widening profit margin. Forecasts for 2023 are positive, with the company seemingly past much of the tumultuousness of 2022.

With no metrics volunteered by management, we can assume that take-up of Netflix's nascent ad-supported plan has been predictably modest. To scale, the company must overcome several structural inhibitors.

With Netflix foreseeing future strain on subscriber additions, in time revenue growth will have to increasingly be inspired by paid-sharing initiatives and advertising—this will be detrimental to local content spend in minor markets.                                           

Structural shifts in the delivery of video are causing long-form viewing to coalesce around fewer programmes—this comes despite an explosion in the volume, spend and perceptual accessibility of content

For the time being this theoretically favours the largest of shows, along with the declining number of content providers that are able to create and distribute them at scale, forming critical masses of interest

Incoming technologies leveraging AI and virtual production will have the ability to drastically lower production costs. But until that happens the spend on most programming will become increasingly less efficient

Telcos are pressing the EU to force big tech to make a ‘fair contribution’ to their network costs, although this has drawn opposition from telecoms regulators, who rightly fear risks to the wider ecosystem

There are valid concerns to address however, with content providers not currently incentivised to deliver traffic efficiently, and telcos constrained by net neutrality rules from doing anything about it, resulting in unnecessary costs and service degradation

However, there may be better ways to address these, through reforming the implementation of existing rules to encourage more efficient content delivery, and allowing the telcos to provide enhanced delivery routes of their own, with Ofcom’s approach in the UK a step in this direction, but perhaps not a step far enough