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Sunday, February 5, 2023

How ‘Stranger Things’ Saved Netflix

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Status: 07/20/2022 08:30

The worst-case scenario at Netflix did not happen. The video streaming service lost fewer subscribers than expected. It should also be due to the success of a popular series.

Farah Fawcett hairstyles, walkie-talkie radio messages, Ghost Buster costumes, and monsters that seem straight out of the imaginations of James Cameron, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg: the Stranger Things series is full of homages to 1980s cinema.

It’s partly thanks to years of 1980s nostalgia that the mystery horror series, set in the fictional town of Hawkings, Indiana in this decade alone, has achieved such cult status. .

Netflix can score with “Stranger Things”.

The hype surrounding the series likely saved video streaming service Netflix from the worst in the last quarter. The series’ fourth season was the streaming service’s most popular ever, at least in English. “Stranger Things” should have made a significant contribution to mitigating the loss of customers at Netflix.

In fact, the video streaming service lost less than half the number of subscribers that management had feared in the last quarter. From April to June, the number fell by 970,000, the American group announced yesterday after the close of trading.

Netflix stock asks for numbers

In April, Netflix warned that two million customers would be lost in the quarter. This had raised questions about long-term growth prospects. Investors therefore reacted to the figures with great relief. Shares of Netflix rose nearly 10% in after-hours trading.

The newspaper, which was once one of the big winners of the pandemic, was last passed on the stock exchange. Netflix stock has lost nearly two-thirds of its value this year.

A strong dollar as a stressor

However, the outlook remains cautious. For the current quarter, Netflix expects only around one million new users. Analysts expected significantly more with 1.84 million. Ultimately, Netflix made $1.44 billion in the last quarter; a year ago it was 1.35 billion.

In the last quarter, Netflix also said sales increased 9% to $8.0 billion. Without the strong dollar, the plus would have been 13%, he said. However, Netflix is ​​not the only American company to suffer from the strong “greenback”. Recently, IBM and Johnson & Johnson had also complained of negative currency effects.

Netflix is ​​planning an ad variant

The burdens and challenges for the group, which faces increasing competition from Walt Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Apple, have not diminished. After a weak first half, Netflix is ​​putting a lot of things to the test, including long-standing traditions. In more recent seasons of its hit series “Stranger Things” and “Ozark,” the video service no longer aired all episodes at once, as it once did.

CEO Reed Hastings has already given in to an even greater taboo: given the low user growth, Netflix will offer a cheaper version of its streaming service with commercials. With this, Netflix breaks with its corporate DNA, since the group had also grown to completely ban advertising from its offer.

In order to slow the loss of customers, Netflix can only hope for “Stranger Things” again. Because it’s already clear: there will be a fifth season – but it will be the last.

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Source www.tagesschau.de

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