Week in Review - Can Netflix beat the odds?

TechCrunch Newsletter
TechCrunch logo
Week in Review logo

Saturday, July 17, 2021 By Lucas Matney

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review!

Last week, I wrote about Nintendo’s steady and relentless contrarianism. This week, I’m looking at Netflix’s next major move and what could go wrong.

If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.

The big thing

If Netflix’s history has taught us anything, it’s that underestimating the streaming giant is generally pretty unwise. And yet, there are plenty of good reasons to be skeptical that Netflix can pull off an expansion into the gaming market, plans of which were reported by Bloomberg this week.

The report notes that Netflix plans to add games as a new category to its library and has hired Facebook’s Mike Verdu, who led the company’s virtual reality games business, to helm the effort.

In almost any other entertainment category, a Netflix entrance might have more than a fighting chance, but in today’s gaming ecosystem, it’s hard to believe that there’s room for them in a field where giants like Microsoft and Facebook are struggling to find a hold on third-party hardware. This disparity is largely due to Apple’s reluctance to allow subscription gaming experiences on their devices, but the fact is the entire ecosystem is increasingly hostile to new subscription plays.

Netflix’s advantage over game-streaming competitors could come from the fact that most of their viewers access the platform from a TV, but that also means a gaming play would likely rely on them making a hardware play and either entering a crowded streaming box market or navigating partnerships with TV manufacturers or companies like Roku to build integrations with a game controller of their design.

Game-streaming network upstarts like Google Stadia and Amazon Luna have been slow to make a splash, but Netflix’s advantage may come from luring consumers into the mix with more lightweight game content before looking to role out a console-class MMO. Publishers have been wary to sell themselves short with subscription partnerships, something that has forced giants like Microsoft to buy out massive studios in order to bulk up their offerings.

It’s too early to tell what approach Netflix might take, but with gaming’s future rewards looking richer than ever, the existing stakeholders likely aren’t looking to play nice.

The big thing image

Image Credits: TechCrunch

Pick your fav IT Superhero!

Sponsored by Connection

Connection wants to know who’s the unsung IT Superhero you just can't live without. Nominate your IT Superhero and the winners will be announced on 9/23. All nominations must be in by Aug. 10th .

Read More

Other things

Here are the TechCrunch news stories that especially caught my eye this week:

Valve releases its own Switch Pro
Last week, I wrote about Nintendo gamers being disappointed with the new Switch. Well, it’s no Switch Pro, but Valve unveiled what looks like a copy cat Switch this week that’s packing the power of a PS5. The new device, called the Steam Deck is a $399 gaming portable that promises to play the games your PC can.

Branson’s billionaire space vacation is a success
Ahead of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s flight to the edge of space next week, Virgin Galactic jettisoned its own billionaire founder to the heavens this past weekend. All went well, though we’ve since learned that one celebrity attendee had to skip out on the flight.

Twitter kills Fleets
Twitter’s attempt to bring Stories into the app feed is dead as the company announced this week that come August 3 it will kill its Fleets feature. The company cited low usage of the feature as the reason behind the shutdown.

Facebook bets another $1 billion on creators
Facebook is aiming to protect its turf from TikTok by rolling out more creator payments. The social media giant announced plans this week to pay more than $1 billion to creators through the end of next year through new bonus programs designed to keep creator creating on Facebook networks.

MSCHF drops a memorial to dead startup hardware
Venture-backed viral stunt marketer MSCHF turned some heads this week when they dropped their collection of Dead Startup Toys. The vinyl figurines memorialize venture capital’s most iconic hardware failures including the Theranos minilab and the always ridiculous Juicero.

Other things image

Image Credits: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic / Getty Images

Extra things

Some of my favorite reads from our Extra Crunch subscription service this week:

The CockroachDB EC-1
“The company behind CockroachDB attempts to solve a long-standing problem in large-scale, distributed database architecture: How to make it so that data created in one place on the planet is always available for consumption by applications that are thousands of miles away, immediately and accurately. Making global data always available immediately and accurately might sound like a simple use case, but in reality it’s quite the herculean task. Cockroach Labs’ story is one of an uphill struggle, but one that saw it turn into a next-generation, $2-billion-valued database contender.”

India poised for record year in VC
“Data coming from the Indian startup market paints a picture of an aggressive attitude from venture capitalists hungry to put capital to work in the country’s early-stage tech companies. With some $10.4 billion invested into Indian upstarts so far this year, India has nearly matched its 2020 venture totals ($11.6 billion, data via Tracxn as reported by TechCrunch).

Three things you should do with your stock options
“There’s a reason startup compensation packages usually include equity, or stock options. For one, it’s a way for startups to remain competitive in the job market and attract top talent. But it’s also a way to reward those employees who join early and give them a tangible reason to stay incentivized to grow the company.”

Extra things image

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

Read more stories on TechCrunch.com

Newest Jobs from Crunchboard

See more jobs on CrunchBoard

Post your tech jobs and reach millions of TechCrunch readers for only $200 per month.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram Flipboard

View this email online in your browser

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Unsubscribe

© 2021 Verizon Media. All rights reserved. 110 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Older messages

Startups Weekly - All eyes are on India’s brightest Zomato

Saturday, July 17, 2021

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo Startups Weekly logo Saturday, July 17, 2021 • By Natasha Mascarenhas Relevance, rarity and ripple effects Relevance is often tied to rarity. As a result, the

Daily Crunch - FedEx invests $100M in Indian logistics giant Delhivery

Friday, July 16, 2021

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo The Daily Crunch logo Friday, July 16, 2021 • By Alex Wilhelm Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for July 16, 2021. A PSA: A few of us at TechCrunch took some time

[Next Week] XTC Global Finals - Powering The Future Through Transformative Tech

Friday, July 16, 2021

The World's Largest Purpose-Driven Startup Competition Header Image: XTC Global Finals on July 22 Powering the Future Through Transformative Tech The Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) Global Finals is

'It’s a testament to its resilience. It’s indestructible, just like a cockroach.'

Friday, July 16, 2021

Extra Crunch Newsletter Extra Crunch logo Extra Crunch Roundup logo Friday, July 16, 2021 • By Walter Thompson and Annie Siebert Welcome to Extra Crunch Friday Image Credits: Nigel Sussman Ants and

Daily Crunch - Citing data storage violations, India blocks Mastercard from onboarding new customers

Friday, July 16, 2021

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo The Daily Crunch logo Wednesday, July 14, 2021 • By Alex Wilhelm Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for July 14, 2021. We have a jam-packed newsletter for you today

Is drawing a Red independent from an Ace?

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Statistics, Probability Theory, InterviewQs Is drawing a Red independent from an Ace? Statistics Probability Theory Forward this email to a friend or colleague and challenge them to solve it. Hi, I

iPhone sales are up 50 percent year over year

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Now available on your smart speaker and wherever you get your podcasts Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | iHeart Radio It's Wednesday, July 28, 2021. The curse of buying new tech at the wrong

Facebook's digital universe 🌎, Discord threads 🎮, water on Jupiter's moon 🌊

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Facebook will create a product team to work on the metaverse. The team will be part of Facebook's Reality Labs. TLDR Daily Update 2021-07-28 Tomorrow: Hungry? - Lunch on us during the Digital

Great Resignation: Top reasons employees are quitting now

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Microsoft warns of credential-stealing NTLM relay attacks; clean up your Gmail inbox with this mass delete trick Subscription | Read Online | Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Top Story of the Day July 27,

Element raises $30M to boost Matrix — The Insecurity Industry — and Mammals dream about the world they are about to experience before they are born

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Issue #477 — Top 20 stories of July 28, 2021 Issue #477 — July 28, 2021 You receive this email because you are subscribed to Hacker News Digest. You can open it in the browser if you prefer. 1 Element

[PythonistaCafe] What makes PythonistaCafe different

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Hey there, Mastering Python is *not* just about getting the books and courses to study—to be successful you also need a way to stay motivated and to grow your abilities in the long run. Many

Daily Crunch - No-code startup Bubble pops with $100 million Series A round

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo The Daily Crunch logo Tuesday, July 27, 2021 • By Alex Wilhelm Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for July 27, 2021. Today is a good day not only because the US

Lights, Camera, Blockbuster

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Whether it's Iron Man, Star Wars, or Fight Club, the technical know-how for film creation is complex and fascinating. Read on to find out the unbelievable behind-the-scenes processes. Project

Python Collections, SciPy's New Build System, What To Know About the "operator" Module, and More

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Python's `collections`: A Buffet of Specialized Data Types #483 – JULY 27, 2021 VIEW IN BROWSER The PyCoder's Weekly Logo Python's collections : A Buffet of Specialized Data Types Python

JSK Daily for Jul 27, 2021

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

JSK Daily for Jul 27, 2021 View this email in your browser A community curated daily e-mail of JavaScript news JavaScript Currying: A Comprehensive Guide Currying is an advanced technique of working