Netflix has stated that price increases can be expected as it continues to improve its service offering and is in the early stages of expanding into games.
In a letter to its shareholders on 20 July 2021, the streaming giant stated that its Q2 2021 results are: “demonstrating how much our members value Netflix and that as we improve our service, we can charge a bit more.”
Despite “lumpiness” in growth caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company believes that the 1.54 million additional subscribers gained by Netflix proves the value of the service, and it expects to gain another 3.5 million subscribers in Q3 2021.
The year-on-year growth for Q2 2021 was 8.4%, though Netflix clarified that the pandemic slightly distorted the actual growth and that the 17% growth compared to Q2 2019 is a fairer comparison.
Nonetheless, despite Q2 2021 having the lowest increase in subscribers of the past year, the company is optimistic about its continuous increase in content variety and quality and what this may mean for future price hikes.
Globally, the company said, “our goal is to be the first choice for entertainment”, continuing that they “were able to deliver an exciting portfolio of titles in Q2 2021 that exemplify this ambition.”
With the expansion of its series and movie offerings, the company has also confirmed its ambitions to expand into gaming.
Bloomberg recently reported that the streaming giant hired former EA and Facebook executive Mike Verdu to fuel its gaming push.
“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV”, the company wrote in its letter to shareholders.
Netflix released House of Cards as its first original scripted TV series in 2013 and has since expanded its “Originals” to multiple geographic regions, in multiple languages, covering TV series and movies.
Its first unique game was the Stranger Things mobile game, launched in 2017, which has since spread to PC and gaming consoles.
Then came the interactive narrative title on the Netflix platform itself, called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, a choice-based “game” episode.
The company says it is now building on these “earlier efforts around interactivity”.
Notwithstanding its statement regarding potential price hikes, Netflix said that its gaming titles will not cost extra and will be included in your existing Netflix subscription.
Game-development related positions have already started appearing on the Netflix Jobs website, with listings stating that the company seeks to create “new types of stories and new product experiences that enhance & deepen member engagement”.
Initially, the primary focus will be on mobile gaming, and the company believes that “the time is right” to see how Netflix subscribers value games.