These are uncertain times for Netflix, but the streaming service isn’t sitting idle as competition mounts and subscribers leave. It has plans to diversify beyond its current core business, and those plans appear to extend to live streaming shows.
According to a new report in meeting, Netflix rulers are “exploring” the idea of live-streamed content as it happens — think comedy stand-up specials and talent shows. In other words, a bit more like TV used to be.
Live reunions are another possibility, according to Deadline, and there’s a chance live sport will be included in the future. It’s something other platforms are doing, like introducing Friday Night Baseball to Apple TV Plus.
All of this is in the “preliminary stage” so don’t expect an announcement any time soon. The article doesn’t give a timeline for rolling out live content, but it appears a team at Netflix is now busy working on the feature.
Comedy could be a good starting point for Netflix, as it already features content from a number of well-known comedians. There’s also the possibility of audience interaction when shows are streamed live, something Netflix previously experimented with (but in a different format) through the Bandersnatch film.
Netflix has played a big part in the move to on-demand streaming instead of live broadcasts, but the company’s executives know that the more formats it offers and the more options it gives subscribers, the better it is.
Analysis: Netflix needs to evolve to survive
Being the biggest and most well-known streaming service out there, it doesn’t seem like Netflix has a huge problem right now — but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that there are several worrisome signs for the company.
Competing platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus are constantly adding new subscribers and releasing new content. For the first time in a decade, Netflix subscriber numbers have fallen rather than risen. And Netflix knows that too many of its users share passwords.
Taken together, Netflix knows it can’t afford to be complacent — as Facebook has shown, even the most dominant players in a market can run into trouble very quickly as the market shifts and alternatives emerge.
In addition to potentially jumping into live streaming and cracking down on password sharing, Netflix has also been exploring mobile gaming, pulling the plug on numerous shows to cut costs. We also expect the streaming giant to announce a free, ad-supported tier in the near future.
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