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Netflix’s Rival is Not HBO, It is Fortnite


In the year 2013, a top executive at Netflix announced the company’s ambition to “become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” Such a declaration made headlines due to its audacity at that point in time. Netflix was aiming to become the king of premium television. But now it looks like Netflix has identified their bigger rival: the massively popular video game Fortnite. On Thursday, Netflix, during a shareholder letter said- “The online game Fortnite has accounted for a huge amount of consumers’ screen time, and this has made it a formidable foe in the worldwide war for Internet users’ attention.”

Netflix also said thus- “We earn consumer screen time, on both mobile and television, and this is far from a very broad set of competitors. We have competed with (and lost to) Fortnite more than HBO. There have been thousands of competitors in this highly fragmented market who are vying to entertain consumers in a variety of ways.

Netflix has also decided to name-check whether or not Fortnite reflects the game’s ever-growing popularity or not. It has boasted more than 200 million registered users, and about 80 million have logged in to play every month, and this was recorded by publisher Epic Games. An engaging combination of reward mechanics, social communication and ease of entry along with the game’s competitive mode which is free to play has helped soar Fortnite to fresh heights last year, and this has helped Epic to earn a reported $3 billion in profit.

Epic has wanted to translate their success into an even bigger opportunity and to hook internet users with the help of an app, which it would build on its own and it will undercut the likes of Apple and Google.

Netflix’s chief near-term threat has remained a major TV content to companies. Firms such as Disney has pulled off their content off Netflix before launching their own exclusive streaming video app and due to this, Netflix will face lots of pressure to defend their subscriber base, and this is the only way in which the company can make money. On Thursday, Netflix reported drawing about 1.5 million users in the United States and 7.3 million internationally.

But Netflix has also respected Fortnite and has recognized it and has gone to significantly expand their own horizons. 

Ever since the humble days of selling DVDs to customers through mail started, Netflix was a video company. Even at this point, at the time when it has been pouring billions of dollars into streaming content, Netflix has restricted itself only to display films and TV shows. But as it has evolved, Netflix has also gone on the level of appreciating that there were only so many hours in the day and this meant only so much screen time which the consumers will have, to devote to entertainment.

That has put a collision with other digital media, and this is not limited to just YouTube or Hulu, but podcasts, blogs and, video games as well.


About the author

Ricardo Graces

Ricardo Graces

Senior Journalist Ricardo Graces has worked in all areas on the online gambling industry for more than a decade. Ricardo started answering phones and worked his way through the various operations channels before switching to media relations and then finally publishing.

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