Daily Insights

Netflix Moves Into Movies

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jan 20, 2021

Netflix hits play on a new year-long promotion that sees the streaming service release a new film during every week of 2021. In total, 71 new films will be released in the next 12 months, allowing Netflix to captivate movie buffs and expand its entertainment empire. 

To kick off the new year, Netflix is releasing a host of original content, including new superhero films, musicals, and sequels to other movies on the service. Many of the films also include famous faces like Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Lawrence, signaling a shift in how “big budget” movies now reach consumers. The push to promote highly anticipated films via Netflix is a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic, which shuttered movie theaters and led to the delay of many films. However, as the pandemic continues, more films and production companies are turning to streaming services like Netflix, where consumers can watch content on their own time and devices. The unveiling of Netflix’s movie schedule follows an announcement from Warner Bros. to simultaneously release films in theaters and on HBO Max. Doing so could help the studio and streaming service gain revenue and viewers while slowly transitioning back to “normal”, pre-pandemic rituals. 

Streaming rates have increased during the pandemic, just as the plethora of available platforms has grown in the past year. While Hulu and Disney+ have proven competitive to Netflix, the streaming service still retains one of the largest audience of movie viewers, leveled with HBO Max which saw a 70% increase in movie watchers during the pandemic. As such, Netflix’s movie-a-week marketing strategy could help sustain viewership and potentially boost loyalty with entertainment-seeking streamers. With many consumers remaining homebound during the ongoing pandemic, Netflix’s new campaign could also keep viewers tapped into its service, which could boost subscription rates and time spent on its platform according to a Gartner report on the topic. The steady stream of content could also help Netflix retain relevance with viewers, who may otherwise become disinterested from seeing the same content over and over. Though Netflix only plans to run the movie initiative during 2021, the strategy could prove appealing, and as such, become a permanent fixture on the platform. 

The shift to streaming during the Coronavirus pandemic has helped Netflix see a surge in subscriptions and content. By releasing a new film each week of 2021, Netflix could double down on its entertainment offerings and boost its status as a leading streaming service.