Netflix’s mobile gaming platform has attracted less than 1 percent of Netflix subscribers since it launched last November, according to new data from app analytics firm Apptopia (via CNBC.).
Included with every Netflix subscription, Netflix Games allows users to play a handful of games on their mobile devices. The games are released as individual apps on the iOS App Store, while the entire catalog of games, currently numbering 24 titles, remains on the Netflix app.
Similar to the way Apple Arcade operates, there are no ads, additional fees or in-app purchases included with the games, with the idea that customers remain engaged with the streaming service while waiting for new installments of TV shows. and hosted series. by the platform.
For example, Netflix has tied several of the available games to popular shows, such as “Stranger Things: 1984,” “Stranger Things 3: The Game,” and an upcoming chess game based on The Queen’s Gambit. Netflix hasn’t said how much it’s spending on games, but the company acquired Finnish developer Next Games for around $72 million, and Netflix says the catalog will grow to 50 games by the end of the year.
However, despite Netflix’s investment, the latest engagement figures are unlikely to be welcomed by Netflix, as less than 1% of Netflix’s 221 million subscribers play the games according to Apptopia. In total, the games have been downloaded 23.3 million times and have an average of 1.7 million daily users, well below the top mobile games.
Last year, Netflix COO Greg Peters said it took “many months and frankly years” for the company to learn how games can keep customers on the service. “We’re going to be experimental and try a bunch of things, but I would say that the eyes that we have on the long-term prize really are more focused on our ability to create properties that are connected to the universes, the characters, the stories that we’re building. “.
The intensifying competition for user attention in recent months has likely increased the importance of gaming in Netflix’s overall strategy. According to data shared by the company’s Q2 2022 earnings call, despite revenue rising 9 percent year over year, Netflix lost 1.3 million subscribers in the United States and Canada during the quarter.
Netflix has also been raising its prices, causing some customers to turn away from the service. In January, the company increased the prices of all its plans. The Basic Standard Definition plan went from $8.99 to $9.99, the Standard HD plan went from $13.99 to $15.49, and the 4K plan went from $17.99 to $19.99.
Netflix blames subscriber loss on connected TV adoption, account sharing and competition, and to continue to improve revenue growth, the company says it’s focusing on the evolution of monetization. A lower-priced, ad-supported tier is in the works to launch in early 2023, and the lower-cost plan could attract some of the subscribers who have abandoned Netflix due to rising costs.