Two companies in particular have profited off the “new normal” that was promulgated by the coronavirus pandemic. They are Amazon and Netflix. One provides quarantined Americans with all their necessary provisions, including basic needs and luxury items. The other delivers the entertainment that allows them to endure these periods of unprecedented boredom.
Where studios and cinemas languish because social distancing guidelines prohibited them from producing movies and prevented audiences from coming together to watch them, Netflix and other streaming services are enjoying a period of unprecedentedly low competition. Such a lack of competition has proven good for business, as Netflix alone has gained over 10 million subscribers during the second quarter of 2020.
In context, that’s a record-breaking number, even for a record-breaking company like Netflix. It translates, for instance, to a revenue of about six billion dollars in total as well as a net income of $1.59 per share. Despite the surprising success the company has endured this quarter, though, it isn’t getting its hopes up for the next as it expects to gain a mere 2.5 million additional subscribers.
“We live in uncertain times with restrictions on what we can do socially and many people are turning to entertainment for relaxation, connection, comfort and stimulation,” Netflix tried to explain the victory in their quarterly shareholder letter. Here, too, however, the company cautions for a disappointing future.
“We expect less growth for the second half of 2020 compared to the prior year,” the letter goes on to say. “As we navigate these turbulent circumstances, we’re focused on our members by continuing to improve the quality of our service and bringing new films and shows to people’s screens.”
Those 10 million new subscribers are even more significant considering the ever increasing amount of new streaming services entering the market. Where once Netflix needed only to compete with Prime and Hulu, now the company must also contend with foes like Disney+, Peacock and, of course, HBO Max.