Netflix is a company in rude health. Its latest earnings report reveals it is close to a market value of – Dr Evil pinky – $150 billion.
Its subscribers have grown 1.96 million in the US, 5.46 million everywhere else and it puts this all down to “strong acquisition trends” and the “worldwide adoption of Internet entertainment”. This is business speak for: people love the shows and movies they are buying up and streaming is definitely a thing now.
In its letter to shareholders, Netflix pointed to a number of things that made it have such a successful quarter and also the real reason why it won't be competing in Cannes this year.
One of the quarter's highlights included Cloverfield Paradox. Now, the word 'highlight' hasn't really been associated with the Cloverfield sequel (although it is in or best Netflix sci-fi movies list), if its reviews are anything to go by. But its surprise inclusion in the Super Bowl halftime show proved to the world that Netflix didn't need the big screen to promote one of its properties, something we praised it for when it happened.
"On Super Bowl Sunday, we surprise-announced and launched The Cloverfield Paradox, the third film in the Cloverfield franchise," reads the letter.
"Through tight coordination among our original film, product, marketing and PR teams, the event showcased how a big branded film can be marketed and delivered to consumers instantaneously across the globe without a wait for the theatrical window."
Cannes and cable
The letter goes on to note that due to its now-huge selection of original dramas and unscripted content, the amount it produces is "now comparable to similarly-focused US domestic cable networks". That's what spending $8 billion gets you.
That, for a service that is catering to cord cutters, is a very loaded statement.
The letter also addressed the canning of Cannes, where it revealed that the reason it was doing this was purely down to protecting its audience in this area. In short: if it adhered to the festival's (and France's) tight streaming rules, it would be detrimental to its French audience.
"The festival adopted a new rule that means if a film is in competition at Cannes, it can not be watched on Netflix in France for the following three years . We would never want to do that to our French members.
"We will continue to celebrate our films and filmmakers at other festivals around the world but unfortunately we will have to sit out Cannes for now so that our growing French membership can continue to enjoy our original films."
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