Netflix Games Not An Instant Hit

A new gaming “platform” is already averaging 1.7 million daily users. But many are calling that a bomb because the platform is Netflix.

Analytics company Apptopia says that since the launch last November, Netflix games have totalled 23.3 million downloads, with an average of 1.7 million people playing on any given day. They also say the figures dropped after the launch but have been climbing since May.

Most of the coverage has focused on the fact that 1.7 million users is less than one percent of Netflix’s subscriber base. That’s true, though doesn’t really account for the number of Netflix users who either don’t know about the games or have no interest in playing them. (Indeed, there’s a good chance most Netflix users don’t even watch its videos daily.)

The quality and range of games (24, with plans to rise to 50 by the end of the year) is no doubt a big factor, but analysts have also pointed to the availability and convenience. The games are free to Netflix subscribers but only available on mobile devices and must be downloaded from app stores rather than being accessible through the same software used for watching Netflix videos.

Ultimately what really matters is whether the costs of running the service (including $72 million to buy developer Next Games) are worth it for however many people see the games as a positive when deciding whether to sign up to, or avoid cancelling, a subscription. Given the Next Games purchase is equivalent to nearly five million annual subscriptions on the standard plan, there’s certainly some way to go.

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