Weekly Discussions

This Week in Media: April 23, 2021

Variety Intelligence Platform president and chief media analyst Andrew Wallenstein, media analyst and correspondent Heidi Chung, media analyst Kevin Tran and information editor Kaare Eriksen all convened Friday on LinkedIn Live to converse over the week’s most notable developments across the often-intersecting media and tech spaces.

“It was such an action-packed week when we’re thinking about the kick-off to media and tech earnings,” said Chung before going over Netflix’s disappointing subscriber numbers for Q1, which came in well below the company’s earlier guidance and led to shares plunging as much as 10% following the disclosing of financials.

“It was a big subscriber miss on the surface,” remarked Chung. “But you have to keep in mind…this came during a quarter when Netflix hiked prices, and they also had a very limited content slate during the quarter because…COVID continued to weigh on production,” she followed, explaining that a lot of originals were still stuck in post due to the pandemic’s impact on production schedules and that one less-than-desirable quarter in sub growth isn’t necessarily a big deal for such a mature streamer as Netflix.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily catastrophic for Netflix,” agreed Tran, explaining how management highlighted original films and series such as “Red Notice,” “The Witcher” and “You” would be completed in time to fill out 2021’s back-end and generate viewership numbers.

Still, Wallenstein pointed out that the dip in Netflix’s sub growth could be a legitimate sign that competition from other streamers is finally seeing fruition. “Is it not possible that what we saw this quarter was the beginning of new competition in the form of HBO Max and Discovery and Paramount?” he asked.

Watch the whole stream for answers to that question as well as further analysis regarding Snap earnings, Endeavor’s new IPO, “Call of Duty” hitting a milestone and more!