Netflix is crushing the cable TV market
With a doubling in US membership within the last five years, Netflix has come a long way since its early establishment in 1990s, with video and TV streaming becoming a significant driver to its success.
Overtaking cable TV subscriber figures according to recent data by Leichtman Research, there are 50.85 million subscribers to Netflix’s services, in comparison to cable figures, which amount to 48.61 million. In Q1 of 2012, Netflix had 23.41 million subscribers in comparison to cable figures, which sat at 52.60 million. Since this time, Netflix has slowly risen in prominence, whereas the number of cable TV subscribers has decreased significantly. At the beginning of 2013, Netflix had amassed nearly six million new subscribers, whilst cable TV lost two million, leading to an onward downward spiral.
Why has this occurred?
Cable TV prices have been steadily increasing, yet the services and offerings provided have remained unchanged. Netflix has taken advantage of popular original series and desire for streaming services, capitalising on this consumer demand. In contrast, long-established services have not revised their business models to compete with new up and coming services.
Bruce Leichtman, President and Principal Analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc has said, “The pay-TV market lost about 410,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2017. This marked the first time that the industry has ever had net subscriber losses in the first quarter of a year.
“The decline in subscribers should not be interpreted as solely driven by a sudden increase in consumers disconnecting services. The net losses are also a function of a decrease in new connects, partially due to some providers less aggressively pursuing lower value customers than in the past."
Upcoming challenges and competitors
However, despite its ongoing successes, the company is facing a potential challenge from Australia. It has been reported that Netflix may be forced to create Australian programs, alongside other streaming services in response to the changing attitudes and consumer demands, against traditional TV services, which are falling out of favour. Whilst free television networks must uphold over 50 percent Australian based programmes between certain times of the day, streaming services do not fall under the ruling, putting traditional services at a disadvantage.
Additionally, tech giant Amazon has set its eyes on the streaming services sector, and is targeting Europe with the implantation of Prime Video. Although not as popular as Netflix, Amazon is hoping to further cement its position with further offerings, eating into Netflix’s figures in this area by also introducing a live television service.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”