When it came to on-demand streaming of audiovisual media, Netflix is considered the pioneer. On its footsteps followed the likes of Hulu and Amazon, but in recent times these competing streaming services seem to be stealing a march on the leader. Amazon and Hulu are doing this by beginning to dabble in producing and airing programs on live television. But Netflix isn’t entirely bothered by these developments, preferring to stick by what’s already working for them. After all, why worry about new approaches when your number of subscribers will soon reach a hundred million? A better avenue for them to expand in, in their opinion, was going Romanian and more.
USA Today reports that the iconic online streaming service Netflix is certain to see their 100 millionth subscribers limit crossed sometime this weekend. As a prelude to that, their shares on the stock market have reached an all-time high this Monday April 17 by more than 1% to $149.25. This was after Netflix made their report on their first-quarter finances. This report also noted that the streaming giant has seen their subscribers increase by 4.95 million (1.42 million US and 3.53 million international) within the January-March period.
Although it’s still slightly lower than their optimal estimate of 5.2 million – what with their January-March 2016 added subscribers being 6.74 million – it still brings the overall total even closer to the 100 million mark, with their current subscribers at 98.75 million. One reason for the lesser number of new subscribers to Netflix’s estimate was guessed to be the shifting of new streaming media from the first quarter to the next one covering April to June. One of the affected shows is the fifth season of the highly-acclaimed series “House of Cards”, now due on May 30.
Meanwhile, Netflix is taking steps to be even more accessible to their international streaming audience, which actually comprises nearly half their subscribers at 47.9 million. This April, the service will begin expansion of its offered language options, with them soon to offering Thai-language streaming media, to be followed by Hebrew and then Romanian. This attention to their non-North American customers comes across as an out of the box way of offsetting new subscribers being picked up by the likes of YouTube TV, Hulu and Amazon, which recently won the streaming rights for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says that the conscious decision of the company not to venture into ad-supported live television programming was a way to hew to their brand’s claim to fame (since their DVD rental days) as being completely on-demand and commercial-free streaming content, making the service complimentary to pay TV packages.
Photo courtesy of The Japan Times