While Netflix sits atop the streaming world, its growth has leveled off while competitors such as Disney and WarnerMedia who entered the online entertainment market more recently have experienced faster growth in 2021. The slowdown has caused Netflix to explore additional areas for potential growth. Netflix has announced plans to provide its users with the ability to stream video games as part of their subscription. It is unclear when this service will debut and what types of games will be offered. But gaming is an enormous market that remains relatively untapped by the mainstream streaming services.
Netflix’s announcement coincides with the publication of a thought-provoking opinion piece by the LA Times’s Peter Labuza, arguing that the government should investigate Netflix for its unfair anti-competitive business practices. The article details many examples of Netflix buying out the rights to films that could draw audiences away from their streaming platform if they were to be developed and released theatrically. The $400 million purchase of Knives Out 2 is only the most visible example of what Labuza claims is Netflix’s “catch and kill” modus operandi. The momentum in Washington appears to be building towards more stringent oversight of large players in all markets, including Netflix and Amazon.
See also: Op-Ed: How the streaming wars are changing what you watch (LA Times)