Netflix ends 2018 with a bang
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Netflix ends 2018 with a bang

Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD) market leader Netflix said goodbye to 2018 by unloading a strong portfolio of original content throughout December. The company made a strong play for streaming video dominance in 2018, committing billions of dollars to the creation (and purchase) of exclusive content for its platform, and in the year’s final month, it paid off. Included in the drop were record-breaking, big-budget movies, ‘Christmas special’ instalments of successful shows, and innovative new viewing formats.

Netflix’s share price rallied in the last few days of 2018, as investors were wowed by the company’s exclusive content

 graph 03 netflix

Source: Yahoo Finance

Probably the highest-profile release of December came late in the month: creative horror flick Bird Box (billed as an ‘alternative Christmas movie’) starring Hollywood veteran Sandra Bullock. It was Bullock’s first horror movie, and Netflix’s audience – which has demonstrated a love for genres like horror and science fiction – lapped it up. The film debuted on December 22, and Netflix broke its own rules over revealing viewership figures by announcing that as many as 45 million accounts watched it in just its first week online. That’s a new record for the company, and offers investors yet another argument in support of Netflix’s focus on original content.

As was the case with previous Netflix releases, critics weren’t as sold on the movie as audiences, with Variety complaining about an “inexplicably bland ensemble”, the Hollywood Reporter declaring it was “not all it might have been” and the Guardian calling it “a bird-brained mess.” On social media, however, horror fans told a different story. Heather Drake, who started a Facebook fan page for the film (she’s unaffiliated to Netflix, or anyone else involved with the film), describes her experience:

I have never had as much attention or as many page likes, post likes, shares and comments on any of my other pages as I have on this one. It’s been insane. I can’t even come close to responding to all the feedback, if that tells you anything.”

Other December releases include new instalments of The Good Place, Travellers, and F is for Family, as well as a Christmas episode of recent hit The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. All of these shows are proven audience-grabbers for the streaming giant. Additionally, Netflix chose December to release a long-touted evolution of small-screen excitement: a ‘choose your own adventure’ feature-length episode of dystopian science fiction thriller Black Mirror. The acclaimed genre series lends itself well to viewer interaction, and is currently a trending topic across social media – Netflix is hoping it could pave the way for a new type of programming.

Check out the trailer for Netflix’s first adult-themed ‘choose your own adventure’ film:

With all this behind it, a possible Oscar-winner in the works (see here), and a raft of high-profile releases (Stranger Things, Santa Clarita Diet, and more) scheduled this year, Netflix is in a strong position to extend its SVOD dominance even further.


Dominion holds Netflix in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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