Netflix: Pushing Beyond Boom Cycles?

Your daily head start in the business of tech + filtered + focused

The most important thing in tech today is …

learning the right lesson from Netflix’s earnings report. Is the company getting mature, or preparing for another growth spurt?

Bulls and bears each found something to pound the table about this quarter. If you like Netflix, you’re focused on the 1.5 million paid net adds, the near 20% increase in engagement, and the 60+% of the U.S./Canada market that still isn’t streaming. If you don’t like Netflix, you’re focused on the relatively slow subscriber growth (and guidance), the earnings per share miss, and muscular competition from Disney and others.

What stood out to me, though, is Netflix’s long-term plans to smooth out the kind of choppiness we’ve seen the last 18 months, reflected in both lockdown-driven subscriber surges and lockdown-driven production bottlenecks. To address these, Netflix is trying to create richer services that premium subscribers will pay more for, cheaper mobile plans that will draw global customers into the subscriber funnel, and gaming content that will reduce churn and keep show brands fresh between seasons.

Can Netflix succeed at creating both a range of subscription price points for a global audience, and a portfolio approach across TV/movies/games that smooths out content cycles? The lesson from this earnings report is that this is the strategy the company is banking on.

Coming up today on CNBC’s TechCheck, 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT …

Carbon Health CEO Eren Bali

While you were sleeping …

Samsung just sent out invites for its next Unpacked event. There are those companies that like to sneak hints into their invites — and then there’s Samsung. The note leads with the big, bold words “Get ready to unfold” and features a pair of flat-colored objects that can reasonably be said to resemble the form factors of the Galaxy Z Fold and Flip, respectively. TechCrunch

Cryptocurrency mining operator Core Scientific said Wednesday it is listing on the Nasdaq through a merger with Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition Corp. The deal with the special purpose acquisition company values Core Scientific at roughly $4.3 billion. CNBC

In the broader world …

The world is in the early stages of another wave of Covid-19 infections and death, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday. CNBC

On the horizon …

Today, 2 p.m.: Ford Foundation President Darren Walker in a Fortt Knox March Forth conversation

I’m listening to …