The Week in Netflix: WalMart Eyes Streaming Service; Sub Declines Pummel Netflix Shares

July 16-20: WalMart ponders revitalizing Vudu streaming service; Netflix shares dive after missing subscriber targets
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WalMart Eyes Netflix Clone

TWIN: According to website The Information, Walmart is plotting to create a streaming video service to rival Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, targeted at the Midwest and priced at just $8 per month.

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MCN Take: Walmart has already has a streaming video service – video on demand platform Vudu, which it bought in 2010 – that hasn’t really caught on with customers. The Information says the idea is still in its infancy and could be shelved yet again – it had toyed with offers a streaming video service in 2017 but abandoned those plans. The retailer also is said to be considering an ad-supported streaming service.

See the full story at The Information.

Netflix Shares Dive After Missing Subscriber Targets

TWIN: Netflix shares fell 13% in after-hours trading July 16 after the company reported U.S. subscriber gains of 670,000 and international customer growth of 4.47 million, well below targets.

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MCN Take: Netflix had predicted it would add 1.2 million domestic customers and 5 million international subscribers. The streaming giant blamed the shortfall on over-forecasting rather than a fundamental problem.

See the full story at MarketWatch.

Netflix, Sirius XM Partner on Comedy Channel

TWIN: The satellite radio channel, tentatively called Netflix is a Joke, is expected to debut in January 2019 and marks the first time the streaming giant has pursued an audio-only channel.

MCN Take: Sirius XM said in a blog post that the channel would include material from Netflix’s own stand-up comedy catalog, comedy talk shows and original programming.

See the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.

Research: 30% of Netflix Customers Subscribe to Premium Service

TWIN: Parks Associates said in a recent research report that 30% of Netflix customers subscribe to its premium tier, up from 21% in late 2017 and despite a price increase in October.

MCN Take: At the same time, uptake for its lowest-price basic offering ($7.99 per month) has fallen from 35% to 27%. While the $10.99 per month standard package, which offers 2 streams and HD-quality video, is most popular, Parks said the pricier premium tier ($13.99) per month is gaining steam because it offers more simultaneous streams (4) than the other offerings and is higher quality – Ultra HD compared standard definition for the basic tier.

See the full story at Multichannel News.

Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway Show to Become Netflix Special

TWIN: Fans of The Boss on the Great White Way unable to secure a ticket need merely to wait until Dec. 15, when Springsteen on Broadway makes its debut as a Netflix special.

MCN Take: Dec. 15 is the date of the final on-stage performance of “Springsteen on Broadway.” The singer-songwriter invited a private audience for two extra performances last week – July 17 and July 18 – which were recorded for the special. “Springsteen on Broadway” has been running at the Walter Kerr Theater since October.

See the full story at The New York Times.

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