Spotlight: Why franchises are the future of streaming


Jack Derwin

June 6th 2022 3 minute read

Netflix’s audience may have unexpectedly shrunk last quarter, spooking investors, but the strength of franchises like Stranger Things and Star Wars suggest streaming platforms are just getting started. These are the 5 big stories from the week that was.

1. Stranger Things

Much has been written about streaming companies and how many more viewers they can bring in, but on other metrics they continue to grow.

Netflix users binged 287 million hours of the new season of Stranger Things, surpassing the Bridgerton record by almost 100 hours or ~50%.

On the same weekend, the new Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi soared while the latest Top Gun film (Paramount) will be Tom Cruise’s biggest.

It shows the huge engagement platforms can still generate. If services do consolidate, those who control major franchises and tentpole series like Stranger Things might be the victors.

2. Changing of the guard

Mark Zuckerberg’s first mate Sheryl Sandberg is jumping ship, leaving Meta after 14 years with the company. Her legacy is mixed.

She is as deeply tied to Meta’s successes (eg. creating a social media empire) as she is to its shortcomings and its failure to respond to them.

The end of one era at Meta inevitably will lead to the start of another. Right now that looks like centering around the metaverse and AI.

3. New social

While Meta looks to monetise their 2 billion users, a wave of challengers wants to capture the next generation and build their own empires.

The ‘novel’ apps all offer something new. Poparazzi gets your friends to create your profile. BeReal gives you a daily 15-minute window to post.

Many attract millions of users. While they haven’t reached scale yet, they’re hoping to grow like TikTok and grab market share. Meta knows it.

4. No lemon

Lululemon is positioning itself as the retailer which could beat inflation. Reporting earnings overnight, rising prices aren’t yet spooking shoppers.

The athleisure company beat earnings on the back of bumper growth with sales across male, female and store metrics all up around 30%.

That’s despite shutting more than 20 stores in China due to lockdowns. Now the brand is growing with new footwear and skincare products.

5. Cut some Slack

Salesforce is best known for CRM, but the company is quietly making a push into the hot jobs market with Slack – after acquiring it last year.

As Americans and Australians quit their jobs en masse, industry groups on Slack are increasingly being used to find their next one.

While small compared to professional networking sites like LinkedIn, it reveals an interesting growth opportunity.

More: Here’s the story of how Slack became a multibillion-dollar giant.


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