Netflix (US)


Streaming media service Netflix has set about overturning the traditional hierarchy in global media. Originally launched in 1997 as a mail order DVD rental company, it reinvented itself in the late 2000s as an internet broadcaster streaming on-demand movie and TV content to monthly subscribers. Its most significant breakthrough was the move into proprietary content, commissioning high-quality scripted drama and comedy - including the series House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black - available exclusively to its own subscribers. As a result, it has begun to position itself as the main global rival to Time Warner-owned HBO. However its massive commissioning budget for new content - around $8bn earmarked for 2018 - puts it on a par with the biggest traditional Hollywood studios. At the same time Netflix has expanded its global footprint, initially in Latin America and more recently Europe and Asia, to cover 190 global markets. By the end of 2Q 2018 it had over 130m streaming members, more than half of them now outside the US. Revenues for 2017 were $11.7bn. Co-founder Reed Hastings remains CEO. According to company legend, he first decided to launch the company after he was fined $40 by original video rental giant Blockbuster for the late return of the movie Apollo 13. Ted Sarandos is chief content officer, responsible for commissioning new content. Adbrands does not currently profile this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services; or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Who are the competitors of Netflix? see Media Sector

Capsule checked 23rd January 2017


Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Jul 2018: For the first time in recent history, HBO was topped for the number of Emmy award nominations by Netflix. HBO has been the most nominated channel for all of the past 17 years, and received 108 nominations for this year's awards, to be held in September, including 22 for 'Game of Thrones'. However, Netflix amassed an extraordinary 112 nominations, including multiple nods for 'The Crown', 'Stranger Things' and 'Godless' in drama; and 'Glow' and 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' in comedy. Yet, just a few days later, a bucket of cold water was poured over Netflix' stellar recent financial performance by 2Q subscriber numbers that were below even internal expectations. The company added 5.15m subscribers in the quarter. That was around 1m lower than it had forecast overall; while US subscriber adds fell short by almost half the expected number. Nevertheless, total subscribers did top 130m for the first time. The company blamed the miss on faulty internal forecasting. Despite the shortfall, price increases and currencies kept revenues more or less in line with expectations at $3.9bn for the quarter, as well as net income at $384m. The group cut its guidance on new subscribers for 3Q to just 5.0m. The results caused a sharp fall in Netflix shares, which had doubled in the past six months alone. They plunged 14% immediately after the announcement, but have regained some ground since then.

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th July 2018: Netflix finalised a deal to acquire a 50% stake in Regency Outdoor, a billboard company that owns multiple sites in and around Los Angeles, including 35 along Sunset Strip. The company paid $150m for the shares, just a fraction of the $8bn it plans to spend this year on content. It expects to become the exclusive user of Regency's key Sunset Strip sites, which it will use to promote its shows to the Hollywood community.

Adbrands Weekly Update 31st May 2018: Netflix' share price topped $350 for the first time last week, raising the streaming company's market cap to almost $154bn by yesterday's close. That made Netflix more valuable than both Walt Disney ($149bn) and Comcast ($145bn). The latest increase was fed by news that Netflix has signed former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama to a multiyear development deal.

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Apr 2018: Netflix reported another stellar quarter, shrugging off fears that growth might begin to stall on the back of fewer big content releases. The company had predicted an uplift of 6.35m new subscribers for 1Q; instead it topped 7.4m, a company record for the first quarter of the year, and its second best result ever, behind the final quarter of last year. Total subscribers hit 125m. Revenues were just ahead of expectations at $3.7bn. The company also unveiled a partnership with former arch-rival Comcast, designed to strengthen its US subscriber numbers for 2Q onwards. Starting this month, customers of America's biggest cable operator will be able to bundle Netflix as part of their regular package. It is the streaming giant's first integration with a US cable operator. It has a similar deal already with T-Mobile USA and has also agreed a bundling arrangement with Sky in Europe.

Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Apr 2018: New media giant Netflix is considering putting a toe into some very old media as well. It is among the top bidders for Regency Outdoor, a billboard operator best known for sites across Los Angeles, and especially in Hollywood where it reaches a key audience of entertainment industry leaders. Netflix has previously worked with Regency on campaigns to promote series including The Crown and Stranger Things. The price tag could go as high as $390m. "This is a smart move for Netflix because it is a very important viewing market," said Barry Lowenthal, president of MDC's The Media Kitchen. "Los Angeles matters to the people in the industry."

Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Feb 2018: Netflix poached another of the US broadcast industry's top producers. Ryan Murphy has delivered a string of hit dramas in recent years for Fox and its FX cable strand including Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story and The People vs OJ Simpson. He signed with Netflix this week with an exclusive five-year deal said to be worth as much as $300m. He will continue to oversee existing Fox projects for the duration of their runs, but all new material will be for Netflix. Murphy cited the impending acquisition of FX and other Fox assets by Disney as a prime cause for his defection. "The stuff I do is not Disney, and I'm concerned about that. Am I going to have to put Mickey Mouse in American Horror Story?" Last summer, Netflix lured away another star producer, Shonda Rhimes, from a 15-year partnership with ABC. The three remaining big name showrunners in network TV are CBS's sitcom king Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon), NBC's Dick Wolf (Law & Order etc), and Warner Studios' Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Blindspot etc). Several already have shows on Netflix. How long before one or all are snapped up to exclusive deals?

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