Netflix thinks games matter more than buying movie studios

As Netflix’s streaming rivals like Prime Video and HBO Max’s WarnerMedia focus on consolidation and studio acquisitions, Netflix is instead prioritizing its own service and investment in games over snapping up any available studio IP. It’s a refreshing shift away from buying distressed movie studios or long-forgotten catalogs. But will it work?

Netflix spelled out its streaming strategy in its second quarter letter to its shareholders. Citing recent mergers between WarnerMedia and Discovery and the last decade of acquisitions and mergers between major media properties — for example, with Disney and Fox or Viacom and CBS — the company said it doesn’t “believe this consolidation has affected our growth much, if at all.” (If I’m a streaming service right now, surely that one has to sting.)

Moreover, Netflix isn’t shopping for studios in the same way its rivals have been. Netflix’s strategy instead continues to be simply making itself better. Put another way, Netflix wants to be more like social apps than other streaming services. Its main competitor in the space, according to Netflix, is itself.

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