Fortnite is so big even Netflix is feeling the heat

Eric Abent - Jan 18, 2019, 11:05 am CDT
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Fortnite is so big even Netflix is feeling the heat

When it comes to competition in the entertainment industry, you might be tempted to think that companies only consider similar services to be competitors. For instance, Netflix and Hulu obviously compete with one another, but what about Netflix and Fortnite? As it turns out, Netflix considers Fortnite a major competitor, and it often loses out to the popular game when it comes to winning screen time.

On the heels of its freshly-announced price hike, Netflix has delivered a letter to investors in which it covers the state of the company. One section is that letter, titled “Competiton,” is particularly telling, as Netflix reveals that Fortnite is an even bigger competitor than one of its oldest rivals.

“We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors,” Netflix said. “We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO.” The call out to Fortnite might seem a little weird at first, but the game attracts tens of millions of players a month, and time spent playing Fortnite means that time isn’t spent watching things on Netflix.

Netflix had another interesting morsel of information in its report on competition. The company said that when YouTube went down for a few minutes in October 2018, it experienced a spike in both viewers and sign-ups. Netflix obviously didn’t reveal how many new subscribers it gained during that brief outage, but the fact that it had a noticeable spike in sign-ups during the few minutes YouTube was down is fascinating nonetheless.

In the end, Netflix says that it’s competing with thousands of other competitors in a market it calls “highly-fragmented.” Instead of trying to keep score with all of them, Netflix says it would rather just focus on how to improve its own experience and draw more people in. You can read Netflix’s full letter to investors over at its corporate site, but be sure to also head down to the comments section to let us know if you’d rather spend your time watching Netflix or playing Fortnite.


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