Netflix has long said it competes not just with other premium streaming services — like Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max or Disney Plus — but also other activities, including playing “Fortnite” and sleep itself.
Now the company has shared a data point that illustrates this dynamic: According to Netflix, on Oct. 4, when Facebook, Instagram and the social giant’s other apps experienced a global outage that lasted about six hours, the service saw a 14% increase in engagement during the time Facebook’s services were down.
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“We compete with a staggeringly large set of activities for consumers’ time and attention like watching
linear TV, reading a book, browsing TikTok or playing ‘Fortnite,’ to name just a few,” Netflix said in the shareholder letter, as part of announcing third-quarter 2021 earnings.
The company noted that, according to Nielsen estimates, it has 6% share of all TV viewing time for the month of September 2021 among U.S. households, which is Netflix’s largest and most-penetrated market. Cable TV was the biggest slice of the pie (38%) followed by broadcast TV (26%).
Netflix’s point to investors: It believes it still has upside growth, even its most mature markets.
“We are still quite small, with a lot of opportunity for growth,” the company said in the letter. “Our approach as always is to improve our service as quickly as we can so that we can earn a greater share of people’s time.”
One of the big breakouts from Netflix’s Q3 earnings report: The company said a record 142 million households sampled “Squid Game,” its South Korean survival drama that has become a raging global phenomenon, in the first four weeks of release. But that counts every Netflix account that viewed at least 2 minutes of the show — and on Tuesday Netflix said it will revise how it reports viewing of originals. Going forward, the company will shift to releasing total number of hours viewed per title on the service, saying that was a better signal of a title’s success.
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