Survey reveals strong demand for Netflix cloud gaming services

A significant portion of dedicated gamers, approximately 33%, hailing from seven different global markets, have already ventured into the realm of cloud gaming services, reveals new research findings carried out in June 2023 by market research firm Savanta. Additionally, it was discovered that 10% of casual gamers have also dipped their toes into this technology.The study enlisted a diverse and representative sample of approximately 12,000 gamers. These gamers were broadly defined as individuals who engage in electronic gaming across various devices. The study encompassed seven prominent markets, namely Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the US.Netflix, in a soft launch, introduced game downloads through its mobile application in November 2021. Intriguingly, 22% of the individuals within Savanta's research pool have already taken the plunge by downloading at least one game through Netflix, and a significant 77% expressed their likelihood of doing so again. A substantial 45% of respondents who had not been previously acquainted with Netflix's gaming offerings indicated their readiness to utilize the existing service.Shaun Austin, the Senior Vice President of Media at Savanta, highlighted an interesting perspective on the matter. He noted: “The failure of Google’s Stadia service suggests the committed gamer segment, one that obsesses over technical details like frame rates and data usage caps, is always going to be a tough one to crack,” said Shaun Austin, senior vice president media at Savanta. “Netflix is taking a very different strategy in following the likes of Facebook to target the casual market and positioning games as a value add, rather than a destination.”Netflix's foray into cloud gaming coincides with a time when a notable 20% of respondents revealed that purchasing video games is the first luxury they would relinquish in the face of rising living costs. This preference ranked ahead of other entertainment expenditures, such as magazines and gaming subscriptions, each at 15%, as well as TV and film streaming subscriptions, which garnered 12% of the vote.While the survey unearthed that nearly 44% of less enthusiastic gamers and 26% of passionate gamers had no prior knowledge of cloud gaming, the concept holds substantial appeal. Among those who had yet to try it, Spanish gamers displayed the greatest openness, with 44% expressing a willingness to explore cloud gaming, followed by the US at 36%, and the UK at 30%.

Arabic SVOD subscriptions to reach 28 million by 2029

There will be 28 million SVOD subscriptions across 13 Arabic countries by 2029, up from 15 million in 2023, according to a report from analyst firm Digital TV Research.Netflix will still lead the market, but local players will provide a strong challenge. StarzPlay, Shahid VIP and OSN+ will account for 46% of the Arabic total subscriptions by 2029 – collectively adding 4.7 million subscribers from 2023.Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “As some of the US-based platforms lower their global rollout and local content commitments, the Arabic players will thrive.” Bahrain OTT TV & videoOTT TV & video revenues are forecast to reach $90 million by 2029, up from $50 million in 2023. AVOD revenues will reach $15 million by 2029, triple from $6 millionin 2023.SVOD will contribute $66 million in 2029, up from $39 million in 2023. There will be 668,000 gross SVOD subscriptions by 2029 compared with 418,000 at end-2023.About 72% of TV households will pay for at least one SVOD subscription by 2029. The report forecasts that Netflix, launched in January 2016, will have 168,000 subscribers by 2029; up from 135,000 at end-2023. Amazon Prime Video, which started operations in November 2016 as part of its global rollout, is predicted to have 49,000 subscribers by 2029.  Apple TV+ ($7.99/month) started in Bahrain with its global rollout in November 2019. The report predicts 15,000 subscribers by 2029. Disney+ ended its distribution deal with OSN in June 2022 by starting as a standalone platform ($8.99/month, $88.99/year). The report forecasts 75,000 subs by 2029.HBO Max and Paramount+ are not expected to start in the Arabic-speaking countries due to their deals with OSN.OSN launched its first SVOD platform in 2017. With 10,000 hours on offer, OSN+ carries Paramount+, NBCUniversal and HBO content. It costs BHD4- 10/month. The report forecasts 70,000 subscribers by 2029. OSN signed a distribution agreement with Netflix in February 2018 and another with STC in June 2018. OSNtv Connect offers 43 linear channels and access to OSN+.Transmitting in English, Arabic and French, StarzPlay has more than 6,000 hours of Hollywood content as well as 2,000 hours of Arabic content. Discovery+ is available as a branded content block. The report forecasts 129,000 subscribers in Bahrain by 2029, up from 90,000 at end-2023.MBC’s Shahid VIP (BHD3.99/month) provides 10 linear channels as well as 20,000 hours of on-demand content. Shahid has promised original content. Shahid also distributes Fox Plus. Shahid VIP is carried by mobile operators STC and Zain (BHD3/month). The report forecasts 119,000 subscribers by 2029, up from 81,000 at end-2023. Shahid is its AVOD platform.

Netflix files copyright infringement lawsuit against Bridgerton Music creators

Netflix has sued the creators of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical, a musical spin off of Netflix's alternate history drama Bridgerton. Reuters reported that Netflix is suing its creators, Abigail Barlow (pictured left) and Emily Bear (pictured right), on the grounds of copyright infringement, after repeatedly warning them.Netflix said: "Barlow and Bear's conduct began on social media, but stretches 'fan fiction' well past its breaking point. It is blatant infringement of intellectual property rights."Furthermore, Netflix said that the musical "attracted Bridgerton enthusiasts who would not have otherwise attended the Bridgerton event," an immersive experience offered by Netflix across the United States. Since January of last year, Barlow has been uploading musical spinoffs of Netflix's Bridgerton on TikTok. Barlow uploaded a multipart series of the spinoff titled "What if Bridgerton was a musical?" with over 1.9 million views at the time of writing. She then teamed with American music producer Bear, with whom she created a 15-song album last September. Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Deezer have all made the album available. Julia Quinn, the author of Bridgerton, also expressed her support for the couple.Following that, Bear and Barlow received a Grammy this year for best musical theatre album at the 64th GRAMMY Awards. The pair performed at the Kennedy Center's 50th Anniversary performance in October, then in December, they teamed with Grammy nominee Andrew Lloyd Webber on a "Cinderella/Bridgerton" mashup. The complaint was filed on July 26th, following the duo's sold out live performance of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical at the Kennedy Center. Meanwhile, Bridgeton author Julia Quinn stated, "There is, however, a distinction between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for commercial benefit."Meanwhile, series creator Shonda Rhimes told Reuters that "while there is so much joy in seeing audiences fall in love with Bridgerton and find creative ways to express their appreciation, what began as a fun celebration by Barlow and Bear on social media has turned into the blatant taking of intellectual property solely for Barlow and Bear's financial benefit." In addition, Barlow and Bear have planned another live performance of the musical at London's Royal Albert Hall in September.Bridgerton, a Netflix original film that depicts the story of eight siblings yearning for love and happiness in London's high society, will be released in December 2020. Last year, it immediately rose to the Top 10 in Singapore. Because of the huge popularity of the series, Netflix released season two in March and plans to release season three soon. Previously, to promote the series in Singapore, Netflix Singapore used its Instagram account to depict the characters in Bridgerton as various teas – a commodity famous in England that Singaporeans can get at kopitiams (coffee shop). The characters were given tongue-in-cheek descriptions as part of the localised marketing gimmick.