Netflix reported its worst slowdown in subscriber growth in eight years as people emerge from their pandemic cocoons. So it’s adding a new attraction to its marquee: Video games.
On Tuesday, the video streaming giant announced it will offer video games in its existing subscription plans at no extra cost, but didn’t say when that service will launch or what kind of games it will be developing.
The confirmation of the long-anticipated expansion came in conjunction with the release of Netflix’s latest earnings report.
That financial breakdown showed the video service added 1.5 million subscribers during the April-June period. That’s slightly better than the modest increase that management forecast after the service stumbled to a sluggish start during the winter months, but still far below its growth rate in recent years.
Netflix’s net gain of 5.5 million subscribers through the first six months of this year represents its weakest first-half performance since 2013 — a time when the company was still rolling out more original programming as it branched out from licensing existing TV series and movies.
Now Netflix is taking another leap by offering video games that intends to produce itself as part of what it described as a multi-year expansion.
The Los Gatos, California, company telegraphed the move last week when it disclosed the hiring of a veteran video game executive, Mike Verdu, to explore potential opportunities in another field of entertainment.
“The reason we’re doing them is to help the subscription service grow and be more important in people’s lives,” Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings told investors during a Tuesday discussion.
Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer, said the company will initially focus on mobile games before eventually expanding to consoles and TV sets as well. The games initially will be tied to Netflix’s most popular programming, Peters said, but standalone titles may be added to the, mix too. He even speculated that Netflix eventually may create a TV series or film inspired by one of its video games.
“There’s a a big, big prize here, and our job is to be really focused,” Peters said.
Despite this year’s growth slowdown, Netflix remains by far the world’s biggest streaming service in an increasingly competitive field that includes Walt Disney Co., HBO, Amazon and Apple. Netflix finished June with 209 million worldwide subscribers.
Netflix’s heft also has produced steady profits. The company earned $1.35 billion, or $2.97 per share, nearly doubling from the same time last year. Revenue rose by 19% from last year to $7.3 billion.
But the lackluster first-half numbers are a dramatic reversal from last year, when government-imposed lockdowns across the world thrust people into binge-watching frenzies while corralled at home. Already the world’s largest video streaming service when the pandemic began in March 2020, Netflix picked up 26 million subscribers during the first half of last year. .
While no one expected Netflix to sustain that breakneck pace, the drop off in subscriber growth this year has been more severe than anticipated. Netflix shares have fallen by about 10% from their peak of $593.29 six months ago. The shares edged up slightly in extended trading after Tuesday’s news came out.
Netflix management has blamed part of this year’s slowdown to pandemic-induced production delays that left its video service with fewer proven hits. The Los Gatos, California, is expecting that problem to fade during the second half of this year with new-season releases of popular series such as “Sex Education” and “The Witcher,” as well as movies starring big-name stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep.
Even so, Netflix let down investors with a forecast calling for only an additional 3.5 million subscribers during the July-September period. That was well below analyst estimates for a third-quarter gain of 5.6 million subscribers, according to FactSet Research. The “quite underwhelming” guidance raised more worries about intensifying competition in video streaming, as well as the fallout from pandemic lockdowns ending, said CFRA analyst Tuna Amobi.
The conservative outlook suggests Netflix isn’t expecting an immediate boost from its foray into a highly competitive video game field already contested by far more experienced companies such as Epic Games, Microsoft and Electronic Arts.
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But if the move into video gaming pays off, it could eventually give Netflix more leverage to boost its prices. The company has already been gradually raising subscription costs in recent years, helping to boost its average monthly revenue per subscriber to $14.54 in its biggest market comprised of the U.S. and Canada. That’s a 16 % increase from $12.52 per month two years ago.
Why I’m Encouraged About Peter Obi Movement – Charlyboy
Entertainer and activist, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, has provided his reason for joining the ‘Obidient’ movement ahead of the 2023 general elections.
According to the 72-year-old activist, who spoke to DAILY POST during the week, the current administration has failed Nigerians and has given no hope for the common man. hence the search for change.
Charly boy believes strongly that Peter Obi, a former Anambra State Governor and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, would bring about the socio-economic changes the country requires to move from where it is now.
“It is about bad governance and how to change that equation and status quo,” the veteran entertainer told DAILY POST in an interview.
Charly Boy further stated that Nigerians must change their mindsets towards those they elect into power, insisting that one of the biggest problems is that the people remove themselves from governance and feel it is not their business and do not mount pressure on their leaders to do the right thing.
He also said that nothing would change if Peter Obi goes in there and Nigerians still maintain the ‘nothing concern me’ mindset.
“You know when you get to a certain position, you need a certain discipline and know how to guide yourself; if not, you are hijacked by psychopaths and these psychopaths know the game and will cage you and hold you to ransom.
“I believe this country lies in the hands of the youth and they have to fight.
“There’s this mindset of ‘my thief is better than your own thief; as far my thief is in government it is ok’.
“When I am not benefiting it becomes a problem and we start attacking ourselves. That is why they play their game so well in the sense of using tribal sentiment, religious bigotry to further divide us.
“We have to do what we have to do. I will tell the young people that they are gaining momentum and they have the population. That is the strength. They are technically savvy although these criminals are using the same young people
“When we have more people on the side of the truth, maybe something will happen.
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“Nigerian youths understand the situation and are dealing with it. The rigging I hear some people are planning.
“I hear there is a plan going on, which is vote buying. Some people intend to collect the money and vote their conscience. The only place we have a major problem is the rigging.”
Dammy Krane Calls Out Davido Over Alleged Debt
Nigerian singer and songwriter, Oyindamola Emmanuel, popularly known as Dammy Krane, has publicly called out his colleague, Davido, over an alleged unpaid debt.
Krane, on his Twitter page on Monday, accused Davido of refusing to pay for his songwriting contribution to an earlier released track, even after reaching out to the DMW boss privately.
In an earlier tweet, the songwriter threatened to call out certain “rich guys” owing him money.
“All my rich guys wey dey owe me money, today na Monday o. Abi make we bring am come ‘The Supreme High Twitter Court’ #Eshe,” he wrote.
In another tweet, he followed through with his threat and shared a picture of Davido’s 2017 tweet which read, “Shout out to @dammy_krane!! Co-wrote the hook of ‘PERE’ with me!!”
“My Blooda @davido, run the check. I don reach out to people over the years based on split sheet & outstanding, no response. We no gats dey get this convo here,” Dammy Krane captioned the picture.
Pere, a single which featured American hip-hop stars, Rea Sremmurd and Young Thug, was released by Davido in 2017.
Artistes Who Have Fought Over Song Ownership
The issue of song ownership and theft is probably as old as the music industry itself. Over the years, quite a number of artistes have had issues with other artistes and even record labels over the rightful owners of certain songs. There is an ongoing controversy over the ownership of a popular song titled, ‘Machala’, and it has attracted several opinions online. Saturday Beats takes a look at this particular case and similar incidents
Carter Efe/Berri Tiga (Machala)
Oderhohwo Efe, aka Carter Efe, was more known as an Instagram comedian by virtue of the skits he has appeared in. However, many were surprised when Efe announced the release of a new song, titled, ‘Machala’. He was said to feature an artiste, Berri Tiga.
But, there was some confusion when many listened to the song and discovered that a significant proportion of the song was sung by Berri Tiga. As a matter of fact, Carter seemed to have only featured vocally in the intro.
Since Berri did not cry foul, many felt Carter was indeed the rightful owner of the song and that the duo had a working arrangement. Thus, it came as a shock when it was discovered that the song was taken down from several music streaming platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify.
Meanwhile, Efe recently released snapshot of a chat showing Berri Tiga thanking him for the opportunity to feature in the song. Efe also claimed that another artiste, Hotkid, had a verse on the song, but Tiga pleaded with him to yank it off as he felt Hotkid would ‘take the shine’ for the song. He added that Berri was claiming ownership of the song on Instagram, while still thanking him for the opportunity.
According to some reports online, the song allegedly occupied the first position in many of the music streaming sites accessible in the country.
Ay.com/Terry G (Pass Me your Love)
Though both singers— Gabriel Amanyi (Terry G) and Ayoola Johnson (Ay.com) are no longer as popular as they used to be, many can still remember their messy squabble over a song. Some years ago, Ay.com had one of the biggest songs, ‘Pass Me your Love’, in the country. He featured another reigning artiste at the time, Terry G.
However, things went sour between them, with Ay asking Terry to stop performing the song at concerts and other events. According to him, Terry G was taking the shine for the song and performing as if he owned it.
At the height of their spat, Ay once stormed an event where Terry G had performed the song. Taking to the stage, the former said, ““Whenever you are cheated, you have to speak up. Otherwise, you would lose out. What happened between me and Terry G had to happen. I want to explain something to my fans. I composed the song.
“How would you feel that after your hard work, another man is reaping the fruits of your labour? He was performing the song and getting paid. Meanwhile, me as the rightful owner of the house, would be at home doing nothing. I even told me that we should perform the song together whenever he had a show, but he did not listen to me. To all my fans, whenever you see Terry G performing ‘Pass Me your Love’, please stop him, to help the Nigerian music industry.”
However, in an interview with Sunday PUNCH about five years ago, Ay claimed that the matter had been resolved amicably. He said, “Me and Terry G is an old issue, and I don’t really like to talk about it anymore. We are ‘cool’ with each other now. We are colleagues and as regards working with him again, nobody can predict the future.”
Apparently still attached to the song, Ay.com recently released its remix; over 10 years after the first song was released. On the remix, he featured Peruzzi. However, it did not do as well as the original version.”
Tiwa Savage/Seyi Shay (Lova Lova)
For as long as many can remember, there has been no love lost between two female singers— Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay. Their animosity culminated in showdown at a hair salon. In videos that went viral on the Internet, Tiwa could be seen venting her spleen when Shay walked up to her to greet her.
Savage asked Shay not to greet her, as she knows that she (Shay) does not like and has spoken negatively about her.
Shortly after that incident, Seyi Shay claimed in an interview that she wrote Savage’s verse in a song, ‘Lova Lova’, she was featured on by Duncan Mighty. She also insinuated that Savage had taken certain actions to undermine brand. She said, “This is the same person that took my song, ‘Lova Lova’, which is one of her biggest songs ever. I composed that song with…but when I called her that I co-wrote the song, she said she did not believe what I said, and she refused to compensate me.
“She was the same person who attacked a popular artiste because she featured on my song, after the artiste had featured on her own song too. She also approached a popular brand to withdraw me as their ambassador. All these have been going on for years but I said nothing about it. It is just unfortunate.”
However, the duo appears to have put the incident behind them, as they shared a hug at a concert in December 2021.
It also bears stating that an artiste, Danny Young, once sued Savage to the tune of N200m. According to Young, Savage used some lines from his song, ‘Oju ti ti Won’ in her song, ‘All Over’.
Both parties later settled the case out of court.
Portable/Poco Lee (Zazzu Zeh)
Calling Habeeb Okikiola, aka Portable, one of the most controversial artistes in recent times, will amount to putting it lightly.
Since he became popular in the latter part of 2021, the singer has mostly been in the news for the wrong reasons.
Recall that he came into the limelight with the release of his song, ‘Zazzu Zeh’, on which he featured rapper, Olamide. His fame skyrocketed and he was invited to perform at several shows.
However, the romance between him and Poco Lee did not last for long, as he accused the latter of trying to rip (cheat) him. He claimed that Poco Lee uploaded the song on the Internet, citing himself as the owner.
Shortly after performing at popular singer, Wizkid’s concert in December, Portable made a video to accuse Poco Lee of stealing his song, and the $3,000 sprayed on him on the stage by Wizkid. Speaking in Yoruba, he said, “Wizkid blessed me with $3,000. But Poco Lee, the dancer, picked the money. Out of $3,000, he gave me only $600. I am a street boy. Poco Lee, you did not show love at all. Rather, your intention was to rip (cheat) me. Are you the owner of the song? Why was the song released as ‘Poco Lee featuring Portable and Olamide’; instead of it being the other way round? Are you mad? You had better respect yourself.”
Due to the several controversies Portable has been involved in, Poco Lee has distanced himself from the singer. In a tweet which many believed was targeted at the singer, Lee wrote, “I wish I never took that talkative nuisance out of the trenches.”
2Baba/Blackfaze (African Queen)
Innocent Idibia (2baba, formerly called 2face) and Ahmedu Obiabo (Blackfaze) are both from Benue State, and they used to be members of the same music group, Plantashun Boiz. However, things have seen unravelled between the former friends and partners.
After 2baba went solo with his career, he released a song titled, ‘African Queen’, which remains one of the singer’s biggest songs. It is contained in his debut solo album, ‘Face 2 Face’.
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Blackfaze later came out to say that he wrote the song; a claim that 2baba did not dispute.
At a point, Blackfaze took to insulting 2baba at every opportunity he had. This made the latter to sue Blackfaze to the tune of N50m for defamation of character. Though different stakeholders and important personalities have tried to mend fences between the duo, the truce never lasts.
However, in 2019, they both agree to settle the matter out of court. A source close to the duo was alleged to have said, “After the successful mediation, Blackfaze promised not to publicly accuse 2baba again, while 2baba agreed to make all the necessary corrections and amendments that had prevented Blackfaze from receiving royalties.”
Blackfaze even went on to release his own version of ‘African Queen’, but it did not do nearly as well as 2baba’s version.
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