These are uncertain times for Netflix, but the streaming service isn’t sitting idle as competitors grow and subscribers leave. It has plans to diversify beyond its current core business, and those plans apparently extend to live streaming shows.
As per a new report in Deadline, the powers that be at Netflix are “exploring” the idea of live streaming content as it happens – think comedy stand-up specials and talent contests. In other words, a bit more like TV used to be.
Live reunions are another possibility, according to Deadline, and there’s a chance that live sports could be included in the future. It’s something other platforms are doing, like the introduction of Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV Plus.
All this is in the “preliminary stages”, so you shouldn’t expect an announcement anytime soon. The article doesn’t give a timeline for the roll out of live content, but there is now apparently a team at Netflix busy working on the feature.
Comedy could be a good starting point for Netflix, as it already hosts content from a number of well-known comedians. There’s also the option of audience interaction if shows are broadcast live, something Netflix has experimented with before (but in a different format) through the movie Bandersnatch.
Netflix has played a big role in the shift to on-demand streaming rather than live broadcasting, but company executives know that the more formats it offers and the more options it provides to subscribers, the better.
Analysis: Netflix needs to evolve to survive
With it being the biggest and most well-known streaming services out there, it may not seem as though Netflix has much of a problem right now – but dig a little deeper and you’ll find there are several worrying signs for the company.
Rival platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus are gaining new subscribers and pushing out new content all the time. For the first time in a decade, Netflix subscriber numbers have actually gone down rather than up. And Netflix knows that too many of its users are sharing passwords.
Put all of that together, and Netflix knows that it can’t afford to get complacent – as Facebook has shown, even the most dominant players in a market can very quickly start to run into problems as the market shifts and alternatives appear on the scene.
Besides potentially getting into livestreaming and cracking down on password sharing, Netflix has also been exploring the area of mobile gaming and pulling the plug on numerous shows to cut costs. We’re also expecting the streaming giant to announce a free, ad-supported tier in the near future.
By David Nield, TechRadar