Netflix reported a turnaround in subscriber numbers for the first three months of the year as people returned to the digital streaming service tempted by upcoming shows such as Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story and Selling Sunset Season 6.
The news — widely reported in April — revealed that at the end of Q1 2023, end user numbers had climbed by 1.75m taking its global subscriber base to 232.5m.
For many industry watchers, Netflix’s growth signals an end to the Covid ‘boom and bust’ phase for streaming services and suggests that the $300m spent on brand marketing since 2020 is starting to pay dividends.
But the bounce in numbers also coincides with the streaming service’s continued innovation, not least its continued expansion into Netflix Gaming and its partnership with “all-in-one” subscription hubs like Verizon +play.
“This move to increase customer access through Super Bundles is particularly important,” explained Anil Malhotra, subscription expert and CMO / Founder of Bango.
“Not only does it suggest that Netflix is smart about distribution — it also shows the company is responsive to what customers want: simplicity and flexibility,” he said.
Consumers are driving changes to subscription services
It’s an approach to the subscription model that has now been adopted by US telecoms giant, Verizon, as it looks to adapt to a seismic shift in consumer behavior.
In March 2022, Verizon announced the launch of +play — a groundbreaking platform that allows its customers to discover, purchase and manage some of their favorite subscriptions across entertainment, audio, gaming, fitness, music, lifestyle and more – all in one place.
Since then, the telco has been busy promoting its subscription hub which gives Verizon customers a simple and efficient way to access and take advantage of exclusive deals for content services.
Super Bundling is the future for flexible subscription services
Although the Q1 results came too soon to see an impact from the +play launch, according to Malhotra, Verizon +play is a great example of Super Bundling in action — taking competing services like Netflix and Disney+ and combining them into a single, easy-to-use content hub.
“Our research shows that +play is perfectly positioned to meet rising consumer demand. Consumers love their subscriptions, but are baffled trying to manage multiple subscription platforms and payments through multiple bills,” he said.
It’s a view endorsed by Juniper Research, which argues that Super Bundling offers telcos a unique opportunity to make customer acquisition easier, reduce churn and strengthen brands that are prepared to innovate.
What’s more, Super Bundling is gaining momentum. Last year, Australia’s Optus worked with Bango to build and launch its ‘SubHub’ platform — a Super Bundling service that brings together the very best content such as Netflix, Brit Box and Amazon Prime — and puts customers in charge.