For the past three years, the global media and entertainment industry has been defined by the streaming wars. Every media company has created a streaming service to compete. Only the strongest survive, the story went. The losers would consolidate or die.
The streaming wars may not have ended last year, but a metaphorical meteor hit the entertainment world in the form of a slowdown in growth. first time ever Netflix lost subscribers. Its shares fell by more than 60%. Disney, Comcast NBCUniversal Unit, Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery they also transformed their business to revolve around streaming, so their stock also fell dramatically.
Media companies still pay it for hit shows, advertising dollars and ultimately eyeballs. But imagine what would happen on Earth when they faced the apocalypse: Earth wars would become less important. They may even stop. The threat of mass destruction becomes a common enemy.
That’s what Netflix does latest quarterly earnings report suggests. Netflix added 7.7 million streaming subscribers in the fourth quarter, beating analysts’ estimates of close to 5 million. Shares of Netflix rose more than 6% after hours.
It used to be that great news for Netflix was bad news for older competitors competing with Netflix. Those days are gone. Now the industry is coming together. Disney, Comcast, Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery rose slightly after the Netflix report.
Media companies, at least for a while, found themselves fighting a common enemy — streaming subscriber fatigue. Wall Street doesn’t like declining growth.
Netflix’s big quarter doesn’t yet include the results of forcing users who share passwords to pay, a process that will begin soon. This is another good news for Netflix and the industry as a whole that can follow Netflix’s example. Netflix said it expects subscriber growth in the first quarter to be lower than in the fourth quarter due to general seasonality, but expects growth in the second quarter due to more customers signing up than losing the service as Netflix steps in with password sharing .
The old media world was defined by Netflix disrupting an outdated industry. Now, as Netflix goes, so goes the media world. A group of brothers. Somehow.
WATCH: Netflix shares jump after subscriber defeat