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Netflix bets on animated movies, games for growth

While the SVOD giant's subscriber growth has slowed, The Mitchells vs. the Machines was a bright spot in Q2, and the streamer confirmed plans to get into games.
July 21, 2021

Following a pandemic-driven bump in 2020, Netflix’s growth appears to be slowing. It added just 1.5 million new subscribers globally in Q2 2021—a far cry from the 10.1 million users that signed up in the same period last year. The SVOD finished the quarter with 209 million paid members, and is predicting it will add another 3.5 million customers between July and September.

Even with a slowdown in subscriber growth, animated movies were a big draw. Sony Pictures Animation’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines (pictured) broke a record as the platform’s biggest animated film launch to date, with 53 million households watching in Q2, according to Netflix (which considers two minutes of viewing a “watch”).

Netflix and Sony Pictures Animation may try to replicate that success with a new movie from Lin-Manuel Miranda that’s set to launch on August 6. Animated musical Vivo stars a music-loving kinkajou (a tropical mammal) who embarks on a journey from Cuba to Miami to deliver a love song to a friend. Vivo is part of Netflix’s plan to release six animated films a year.

The SVOD also revealed details about its push into gaming, which has been the subject of much speculation. “We view gaming as another content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” said Netflix in a release. Games will be included as part of every membership at no additional cost, and the streamer plans to start with mobile games.

No further details about the plan were announced, though the SVOD did say it will follow in the footsteps of its interactive specials, most of which have been specifically geared to kids.

With these new moves planned, Netflix isn’t concerned about the slowdown in subscriber growth, pointing to US Nielsen data finding that streaming video represented 27% of all screen time in Q2, indicating there is still plenty of room for growth.

About The Author
Alexandra Whyte is Kidscreen's News & Social Media Editor. Contact her at awhyte@brunico.com

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