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 2018 it had over 139m streaming members, more than half of them now outside the US. Revenues for 2018 were $15.8bn. 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.
Capsule checked 21st September 2018
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Adbrands Daily Update 18th Jan 2019: Netflix disappointed investors in the final quarter with lower than expected revenues and falling profits as a result of higher expenditure on content. The best growth came from international markets where paid members surged by 40% to almost 81m, compared to a lift of only 11% in the US to 58.5m. For the year, revenues were up 35% to $15.8bn while net income more than doubled to $1.2bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Oct 2018: After a disappointing set of numbers for 2Q, Netflix bounced back strongly in the latest quarter, disproving gainsayers who had suggested the company's performance (and stock price) had peaked. The company exceeded even its own forecasts for 3Q, adding almost 7m subscribers globally to reach a total of over 137m, of whom almost 79m were outside the US. Profit for the quarter soared threefold to $403m on revenues up 34% to $4.0bn. Revenues from international subscribers exceeded domestic for the first time at $1.97bn to $1.94bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Sep 2018: HBO continued to dominate the Emmy Awards in 2018 with 23 awards, but for the first time in 17 years it was not the outright champion, matched by Netflix, also recipient of 23 trophies. That represented a major victory for the streaming service, which could now surpass HBO next year following the anticipated end of long-time awards-magnet 'Game of Thrones'. That series was the single most awarded show with nine trophies; but Amazon's superb 'Marvellous Mrs Maisel' and NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' were close behind with eight apiece. Mrs Maisel was Amazon's first Top Show at the Emmys, and also the first winner of Best Comedy Series from a streaming service. In addition, its star Rachel Brosnahan becomes the first new winner of Best Comedy Actress for seven years, ending the extraordinary run by 'Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Last year HBO won 29 Emmys, and Netflix took home 20.
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.
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