Netflix (NFLX) Launches Lucky Luna, Expands Gaming Portfolio

Netflix NFLX continues to expand its gaming portfolio to boost viewer engagement. The streaming giant recently introduced Lucky Luna and also announced several upcoming games including IMMORTALITY, Wild Things: Animal Adventures, Rival Pirates and more.

Netflix’s ongoing push into video games aims at improving viewers’ engagement with the platform amid rising competition in the streaming space. Netflix is facing tough competition from the likes of Disney DIS, Apple AAPL and Comcast CMCSA.

The company is planning to release 30 new gaming titles on its platform by the end of this year. Netflix already has several shows based on games like The Witcher, Arcane (based on League of Legends), The Cuphead Show, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood and Castlevania.

Netflix has also been taking the route of acquisitions to expand its footprint in the gaming industry. Since launching the game initiative in November 2021, the company has acquired several studios including Finland’s Next Games, Texas-based developer Boss Fight Entertainment and Night School Studio, the developer best known for its supernatural mystery adventure Oxenfree.

Netflix Suffering from Stiff Competition

Netflix’s shares have declined 62.3% year to date compared with the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector’s decline of 33.6%.

Netflix, Inc. Price and Consensus

Netflix, Inc. Price and Consensus
Netflix, Inc. Price and Consensus

Netflix, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Netflix, Inc. Quote

Netlfix is suffering from stiff competition in the streaming space from the likes of Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock, Paramount+ and TikTok. Moreover, the unfavorable impact of account sharing, a weak economy, multi-decade-high inflation and the Russia-Ukraine conflict are expected to hurt profitability.

In the second quarter of 2022, Netflix lost 0.97 million paid subscribers globally, lower than its estimate of losing 2 million users. It had added 1.54 million paid subscribers in the year-ago quarter. Netflix currently expects to gain 1 million paid subscribers in the third quarter of 2022.

In June, Netflix confirmed that it is set to launch an ad-supported tier to reduce its losses and bring more users to the platform. The new tier will cost less than the current ad-free service and is part of a plan to make Netflix more attractive to cost-conscious consumers.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company recently hired two of Snapchat parent Snap’s top executives to help it build its ad business. Netflix has already inked a partnership with Microsoft that makes the latter its technology and advertising sales partner. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The company is reportedly planning to remove ads during kids’ movies and TV series, keeping kids’ programming commercial-free in its advertising-supported service. .

Netflix is following the footsteps of its rival Disney-owned Disney+. In May, Disney+ announced that preschool children who use their profile to watch the ad-supported Disney+ tier will not see any advertising.

Disney+’s ad-supported offering will be available starting Dec 8, 2022. The company has also reached out to affiliates and recently signed a new agreement with the ad-tech company, The Trade Desk, as part of an effort to boost the commercial inventory it sells via connected TV.

Disney is also expanding into international markets. Disney+, as of Jul 2, 2022, had 152.1 million paid subscribers compared with 116 million as of Jul 3, 2021.

Comcast’s Peacock is well poised to grow, owing to its vast library of IP and new productions. Comcast is also planning to leverage Sky’s brand and scale to expand Peacock’s footprint internationally.

Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+, is gaining recognition, with Ted Lasso Season 2 garnering 20 Emmy Award nominations and CODA winning three Academy Awards. This is expected to boost its viewership.

Nevertheless, Netflix is expected to continue dominating the streaming space, courtesy of its diversified content portfolio, which is attributable to heavy investments in the production and distribution of localized, foreign-language content.

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