Netflix plans to have even more originals in 2021

It counts competitors including HBO Max, Peacock and... TikTok?

Jasin Boland/NETFLIX

Even as competition increased with the launches of HBO Max and Peacock, Netflix managed to outpace its projections for the second quarter of 2020 and now counts over 192 million paid subscribers worldwide. The quarterly letter to investors also mentioned mobile app TikTok as a competitor, but forgot to include Quibi. Last spring its subscriber count grew by 2.7 million, and this year the number jumped 10.09 million over the same period.

The report also showed how memberships spiked earlier this year — it added 26 million subscribers in the first half of this year after adding 28 million in all of 2019 — as pandemic-related lockdowns kept people at home, however it also said that as a result “we expect less growth for the second half of 202 compared to the prior year.”

Weekly Global Paid Net Adds Year to Date
Netflix Q2 2020 results

The most surprising announcement in its Q2 earnings report (PDF) is the news of a new leadership structure — chief content officer Ted Sarandos will join Reed Hastings as co-CEO, and take a seat on the company’s board.

When it comes to content, Netflix claimed strong performance with dramas like Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever (40 million views in the first four weeks) and “buzzy” reality content like Floor is Lava (37 million) under its reconfigured metrics. It didn’t have a number yet for The Old Guard, but claimed that its Chris Hemsworth action flick Extraction notched views in 99 million households after 28 days.

If you’re wondering whether it can keep up the pace of content releases, then Netflix says it won’t disappoint. “For 2021, based on our current plan, we expect the paused productions will lead to a more second half weighted content slate in terms of our big titles, although we anticipate the total number of originals for the full year will still be higher than 2020.” To fill in for titles delayed while productions are shut down in many countries, it’s acquired content like Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run and unreleased seasons of series including Cobra Kai.