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Netflix to add mobile video games at no extra charge as subscriber growth slows

Netflix last week confirmed the move to add video games to existing subscription plans at no extra cost. The movie and TV streaming platform decided to upgrade their service after the subscriber growth weakened due to the removal of COVID-19 restrictions and increased competition.

Netflix saw a sharp increase in new customers last year as people were forced to stay at home due to pandemic restrictions. But now restrictions have been lifted in many countries, and Netflix has reported its third quarterly decline in 10 years. One of the world’s largest streaming services reported a loss of around 430,000 subscribers in the second quarter in the United States and Canada.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney’s Disney+, AT&T’s HBO Max, and other services attracted customers. Summer blockbusters also returned to theatres when restrictions were eased.

Netflix said that it was in the process of expanding its video game services, which would be offered to subscribers at no additional cost. The company will initially focus primarily on mobile games.

“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” chief operating officer and chief product officer Greg Peters said.

According to eMarketer, a market research firm, Netflix’s share of US revenue from subscription streaming video will fall to 30.8% by the end of 2021.

Reed Hastings, co-CEO of Netflix, said that ventures such as games, podcasts, and merchandise sales will be supporting elements in attracting and retaining consumers to its main business of streaming video.

The company predicts that it will add 3.5 million viewers from July to September. Netflix had a total subscriber base of 209 million at the end of June.

In the second quarter of this year, Netflix attracted 1.54 million customers, compared to 10.1 million subscribers in the same period last year.

The company’s earnings from April to June were $2.97 per share, which was less than the average expectation of $3.16.

Netflix promises a heavier lineup in the coming months, including new seasons of “You,” “Money Heist,” and “The Witcher.”

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