Netflix App

By: Nick Gambino

Earlier this week, we learned that Netflix is raising its subscription prices 13-18 percent across its various plans, which is about $1-$2. Now we know why they have the confidence to demand subscribers cough up more dough.

The streaming giant is notorious for never sharing its viewership numbers with the public or even creators. It’s part of their mystique. But this week in an earnings report, they let the cat out of the bag (or box) on a number of their popular movies and shows, including Bird Box.

Bird Box seems like the one they’re most proud of, claiming that the blindfolded Sandra Bullock vehicle was seen by 100 million households in its first four weeks, with around 45 million accounts watching it in its first week of release.

You is another one Netflix is happy with, with around 40 million accounts viewing the Penn Badgley show in its first weeks. It seems the once-Lifetime show found new life on the streaming platform. Though, it’s important to know that when Netflix says a show was “viewed,” they mean at least 70% of a single episode was watched.

Netflix concentrates on a global content presence with a number of international movies and shows available to watch. We’ve learned that foreign shows Elite and The Protector did 20 million and 10 million respectively.

My guess is this is all part of their elaborate plan to making the streaming model the future of all content viewing. “In the U.S., we earn around 10 percent of television screen time,” Netflix CEO, Ted Hastings said.

Of course, they’re not telling us the ones that are underperforming, because that doesn’t help their narrative at all. For now, they’re content with releasing numbers that attract creatives to continue making their originals. With Apple, Amazon and Hulu all pumping out original content, they’ve got to stay on top of their game.

Hopefully, this will all translate into more cash for the company. They are currently residing strictly in the red. In 2018, Netflix operated with a $3 billion deficit. I guess that’ll happen when you spend money on original productions with wild abandon. They’re expecting this “problem” to peak this year, but then steadily get better.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.