Interpret: Netflix subscribers play video games just as often as they stream video

Two years ago, Netflix made its first foray into gaming, offering its existing video streaming subscribers free access to a variety of mobile games – a portfolio that’s steadily been growing as Netflix has forged more partnerships with studios and acquired developers such as Boss Fight Entertainment, Spry Fox, Next Games, and Night School Games, among others.

With almost 90 games released to date (including recently GTA: The Trilogy), another 90 in development, and full-scale AAA titles in the works as well, it’s no surprise that Netflix is exploring its options when it comes to monetizing its games vertical. Per the Wall Street Journal (via Game Developer), Netflix is considering a variety of options to generate revenue, including in-game ads, in-app purchases, and simply charging for larger, more sophisticated games.

The challenge, however, is that the majority of Netflix subscribers aren’t actually playing the games offered to them by Netflix, with the platform reporting that just 1% of subscribers are playing as of October 2023. That said, there’s been momentum in games for the company, as Netflix saw more than 81 million game downloads last year, which is almost triple 2022’s total of 28.7 million.

Moreover, recent data from Interpret’s New Media Measure® reveals some very promising indicators when it comes to the Netflix audience and gaming interest. Whereas the average US consumer spends just under 10 hours each week playing games and a little over 11 hours each week streaming video entertainment, among Netflix subscribers in the US, gaming time accounts for 10.5 hours weekly, ahead of the 10 hours spent watching streaming video.

Additionally, Netflix subscribers spent approximately $75 in the past three months on games or game-related subscriptions, which is higher than the $70 spent on gaming by average US consumers. Clearly, gaming is a vital part of a Netflix subscriber’s entertainment diet, which means that Netflix has a golden opportunity to cater to the needs of its own customer base if it can steer them towards its own offerings.

With continued investment in great games and more positive word-of-mouth among consumers and media, Netflix should gain further traction. As one writer at Android Authority explained, “Netflix’s excellent selection of titles and free access for existing subscribers have made it an essential add-on for me and has gone a long way toward justifying the ever-increasing monthly Netflix prices.”