Having increased its number of subscribers and overall revenue for the latest quarter, Netflix is doing quite well as of late. But now the company says it could have done even better if it weren’t for a little game called Fortnite.
In the «Competition» section of a letter to investors today, Netflix succinctly said, «We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO» as it relates to screen time.
Analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities thinks Netflix’s popularity measurement against Netflix was «downright idiotic.» Time is a finite commodity, and Pachter points out that Netflix also competes against school, work, and defecating.
Not everyone agrees with Pachter’s point, however, as Amazon Studios’ former head of strategy Matthew Ball argues that Fortnite’s huge popularity is impacting Netflix. He shared how he probably would have finished the new season of Narcos were it not for all the time he spent playing Fortnite. Looking at your own life, you can probably remember a time when your latest obsession—be it a video game or anything else—impacted how much time you spent with another activity. It’s impossible to confirm specifically how Fortnite is impacting Netflix viewing, but few games have ever been as popular as Fortnite, so there has surely been some effect.
The point made is that they compete based on providing engaging content and value for subscriber fees spent. The comment about losing to @FortniteGame is downright idiotic. If they’re measuring things like that, they lose to sleep, sex, pooping, eating, school, work, etc. https://t.co/9vuRHVfCtb
— Michael Pachter (@michaelpachter) January 17, 2019
Which they say, including «having a glass of wine with your partner».
I don’t think the Fortnite comparison is idiotic at all. Were Fortnite not around, I almost assure you I’d have finished Narcos S4
— Matthew Ball (@ballmatthew) January 17, 2019
For its part, Netflix acknowledged that there are «thousands of competitors» in the marketplace trying to entertain consumers, and Fortnite is just one of them. The company said it is not focused on responding to competitors but rather on improving the experience and value of the offering, which would theoretically get more people to sign up.
Netflix has 139 million subscribers by the network’s latest count. The company continues to pour money into new, original shows to help separate itself from the onslaught of new competitors in the streaming space. One of Netflix’s newest shows is Space Force from Steve Carell and other key minds behind The Office.