With hotly-anticipated new streaming media services set to pop up left and right in the coming months, there has been some uneasiness surrounding Netflix lately. Most or even all of it was erased on Wednesday afternoon, however, when Netflix announced third-quarter earnings and crushed the Street’s estimates. EPS climbed to $1.47 compared to earnings of $0.89 per share in the year-ago quarter, and revenue climbed to $5.25 billion from $3.91 billion in the third quarter last year. But the biggest news may have been the addition of 6.77 million new paying subscribers over the course of the quarter, which is a big bounce back from a disappointing second quarter. Despite the impending launches of Apple TV+ on November 1st, Disney+ on November 12th, and HBO Max early next year, Netflix has proven that it can still attract new customers to its ever-expanding catalog of streaming movies, shows, and specials. That said, global growth in markets outside of the United States could prove to be crucial in the coming years — while overall Q3 subscriber additions beat estimates, Netflix only added about 500,000 new subscribers in the US despite estimates that were north of 800,000. It was a big miss, though it was still seen as a victory by many industry watchers since Netflix actually lost US subscribers in the prior quarter.
Long story short, Netflix is in a good place right now. The company is obviously well aware that more competition is coming, but it doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about the longterm impact on its business. “Many are focused on the ‘streaming wars,’ but we’ve been competing with streamers (Amazon, YouTube, Hulu) as well as linear TV for over a decade,” Netflix said in a statement. “The upcoming arrival of services like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock is increased competition, but we are all small compared to linear TV. While the new competitors have some great titles (especially catalog titles), none have the variety, diversity, and quality of new original programming that we are producing around the world.”
CEO Reed Hastings downplayed the widely reported threat that new streaming services pose, saying that none of the new services like Disney+ and HBO Max represent a “big change” in the competitive landscape. “We’re all relatively small compared to linear TV,” Hastings noted on the company’s third-quarter earnings call. “So we’re not really competing with each other, but with broadcast.”
That’s certainly optimistic, but there’s plenty of truth in Hastings’ optimism. Netflix has indeed battled with tough competition like Hulu and Amazon in the past, and it has come out on top each time thanks to massive investments in content that cannot be found on any other streaming platforms. The company continues to invest billions in original content, and as any Netflix subscriber will tell you, original content is the biggest draw to the service. Of course, not all original content appeals to all subscribers, and there is one complaint we see all the time.
Netflix caters to subscribers in many regions around the world, and its customers in each region might speak several different languages. For example, the Spanish-language action series Money Heist has been tremendously popular here in the US, and other non-English content has been popular as well. The fact that Netflix streams content in many languages is fantastic, of course, but many subscribers take issue with the way it’s presented.
When you browse content on your home screen in Netflix, there is no indication whatsoever if the show or movie you’re looking at is in English until you start watching it, until you click on it and read the notes after the description, or at least until the trailer auto-plays (if you want to stop that annoying auto-play feature, by the way, check out this free plugin).
Are you tired of finding promising content only to discover that it’s in another language? Don’t worry, there’s actually a secret trick that will let you browse only English-language content on Netflix. It really couldn’t be easier — just bookmark this page. It’s a special page on Netflix’s site that most people don’t know about, and it looks like this:
As you can see near the top of the screen, this page lets you browse only the content on Netflix where the audio is in English. You can then sort by “suggestions for you,” release date, or alphabetically.
It’s not a perfect solution since it would obviously be nice to drill down even further and browse English-language content in specific categories, but hey, it’s certainly better than nothing. Also of note, you can obviously click the language drop-down and select any language you’d like so you only see Netflix content with audio (or subtitles, if you want) in the language of your choice.