Online & Digital Media News – Netflix surpasses 200M paid memberships

Netflix added 8.5M paid net additions in Q4, crossing the 200M paid memberships threshold. For the full year, the streamer added a record 37M paid memberships (a 31% increase from 2019’s 28M paid net adds), recording $25 billion in annual revenue, up 24% year-over-year. Operating profit grew 76% to $4.6 billion. Netflix said its business is becoming increasingly global with 83% of paid net adds in 2020 coming from outside the U.S. and Canada. For Q1 2021, it’s anticipating paid net additions of 6.0M vs. last Q1’s 15.8m, which reflected the impact of the initial COVID-19 lockdown. Netflix said its productions are back up and running in most regions with over 500 titles currently either in post-production or preparing to launch on the service, and plans to release at least one new original film every week in 2021.

Cogeco Connexion has launched new IPTV service, EPICO, a platform integrated into Google’s Android TV ecosystem that allows viewers to watch both TV and streaming content via a single interface. Test-driven on 1,200 Cogeco employees before hitting the market, EPICO encompasses live and on-demand channels, in addition to Netflix, YouTube, Disney+ and other apps via the Google Play Store. The interface includes the ability to use voice commands to restart a program or access a recent broadcast. The EPICO 4K wireless cloud PVR also offers capacity to record up to 1,000 hours of content that can be downloaded and viewed later without an internet connection on the EPICO mobile app.

QYOU Media says its Hindi language youth-oriented channel, The Q India, has seen surging mobile viewership growth as a result of a partnership formed with the Chingari app. Chingari saw its user base explode exponentially when TikTok became banned in India in June 2020. The app has established a remarkable daily average viewer engagement time of 59 minutes and has nearly 100 million videos viewed on the platform daily. The Q India is now available in and on over 650 million homes and devices in India.  

 

Wattpad’s Board of Directors has approved the company’s acquisition by Naver, the South Korean internet conglomerate and home of WEBTOON™, a leading global digital comics platform. Naver is expected to acquire the Toronto-headquartered storytelling platform in a cash and stock transaction valued at more than USD $600 million. Wattpad says the acquisition will allow it to continue to accelerate its international growth with the company to remain headquartered in Canada under the continued leadership of founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. Wattpad’s global community reached 90 million people in 2020 — including more than five million writers — who spend over 23 billion minutes a month engaged in original stories ranging from sci-fi to romance, fantasy, and horror. To date, around 1,500 Wattpad stories have been published as books, or adapted for TV and film. Wattpad Studios, the company’s TV, film, and publishing division, was awarded the Innovative Producer Award at the 2020 Banff World Media Festival. The acquisition is expected to close in Q2 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

The Webby Awards has extended its call for entries until Feb. 15. In its 25th year, the annual event celebrates the best of the internet across Websites and Mobile Sites; Video; Advertising, Media & PR; Social; Podcasts; Games and new this year Apps and Software and Virtual & Remote, honouring the craft and production of virtual events. Among those on this year’s judging panel are comedian Sarah Cooper; Google Social Lab Head Santi Pochat; Michael Aragon, SVP of Content at Twitch; and the founders of virtual DJ battle VERZUZ, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.

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