The streaming market is a tough place to cut your teeth as a business. The options are plentiful and there’s a definite fight over the quality of streams made available. But the one thing you probably didn’t expect is that some of these businesses aren’t just fighting with each other, but also grinding the market against video games… yes, video games.
This isn’t hyperbole or someone trying to extrapolate some hidden meaning or message from an executive during an investor call for the quarterly earnings report. Nope, this comes directly from Netflix. Inside the company’s shareholder report there’s a section labeled as “Competition”. It states that Netflix sees one particular game as a bigger threat its business than any other streaming competitor…
We compete with (and lose to) more than HBO
This comes after Netflix opened the section stating that it earns around 10% of all the television screen time across viewership in the United States. That’s not an insignificant amount of market share for a streaming network that has no national coverage across terrestrial networks. The section also states that it reaches “less than that” from mobile screen time while competing against other mobile apps, services, and functionality on mobile handsets.
Netflix also honestly admits that it has less market percentage in other countries due to the “lower penetration” of its services within those regions, likely due to lack of infrastructure to help support the bandwidth and availability of the network.
But in the case of the U.S., network infrastructure isn’t an issue so much as is. It’s a pretty obvious gut-wrenching blow to HBO from Netflix to say that a video game is providing more competition for the service than one of the most recognized premium cable channels available.
Keep in mind that HBO is no slouch in terms of providing noteworthy and mainstream content, such as .
However, if is giving Netflix a tougher time than , it speaks volumes to how much penetration Epic Games has not just in terms of the gaming market, but in overall screen-time usage by the average American using any digital device with streaming or online capabilities. And keep in mind that if you have a system that can play it can just as well run Netflix.
Epic Games is probably more than pleased with the fact that a completely mega-company like Netflix, which is well outside of the gaming market, credited some of its loss of viewership to the highly popular third-person shooter.
In fact, Netflix seemed more worried about than some of its nearest competitors like Hulu, who it claimed was almost “non-existent in Canada”. Ouch.
Netflix didn’t resort to any euphemisms for its assessments of the competition, noting that YouTube’s few minutes worth of downtime a few months back earned Netflix a huge spike in sign-ups. So it’s not like Netflix spends the section gloating gaudily over its success while making it like no one else is a threat. The company was just honest in assessing that , right now, is a much bigger threat for taking viewers away from its service than some other streaming services out there.