Netflix looks to become a major player in cloud gaming

New consumer research reveals one third of committed gamers across seven global markets have already used a cloud gaming service with Netflix soft-launching into the market.

The study was conducted in June 2023 by market research firm Savanta and covers a sample of around 12,000 gamers, defined as anyone who plays electronic games on any device. The seven markets covered are Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA. Eighty-two per cent of those who have tried cloud gaming are likely to use it again while nearly 44% of ‘non-passionate’ gamers and 26% of passionate gamers were not aware of cloud gaming prior to taking the survey.

Netflix soft-launched gaming downloads through its mobile app in November 2021. A fifth of Savanta’s sample have already downloaded at least one game, and the majority would likely do so again. Nearly half of those who had not previously heard about Netflix games would use the current service. Netflix’s cloud gaming proposition comes at a time when one in five say buying games is the first entertainment luxury they would forgo in the cost-of-living crisis.

Shaun Austin, senior vice president of media at Savanta, said: “70% of our sample play mainly on their smartphone and over half (52%) prefer freemium games. The potential in this segment has certainly not been lost on Google, through its new Playables initiative - and certainly not by Netflix. The latter recently announced it is extending its offer from downloadable mobile games to a fully-fledged cloud gaming service, which will be accessible through connected TVs and laptops.”

Austin added: “Netflix is positioning games as a value add, rather than a destination. Games represent sticky content for a platform likely to be hit hard both by the cost-of-living-crisis and the Writers’ Strike. Moreover, Netflix’s IP in the gaming space could offer a host of brand extension opportunities, including product placement, for brand advertisers. Customers don’t need to give anything up, rather they have all to gain. If 45% of Netflix’s global audience of 238 million gives gaming a go, then Netflix could become a major force in cloud gaming space.”

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