Under Fire Netflix is set to begin live broadcasting for the first time in a drastic attempt to halt a slump in subscriptions.
The entertainment giant is considering live-streaming its unscripted shows and stand-up specials, paving the way for a more shared “date to watch” experience – just like in the older days of traditional television.
The move would bring a whole new level of interactivity to viewers, who could vote in real-time on shows like the mega-popular reality series The Circle.
According to American online news site Deadline, Netflix has confirmed that it is in the “early development phase” for live streaming.
The report said: “The move opens up the potential of ordering a whole host of new unscripted series to take advantage of the technology and aligning them with the linear networks that often host live specials for major competitive series like American ABC’s Idol to air and Dancing with the Stars moving to Disney+.
The scope for innovation is huge, with reunions for popular shows like real estate spanking Selling Sunset or dating series Love Is Blind taking on a whole new dimension when broadcast live.
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The technology could also be used to live stream Netflix’s Is A Joke – its live comedy festival featuring more than 130 performers including Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, comedian and Kim Kardashian beau Pete Davidson and rapper Snoop Dogg.
Deadline said Netflix could potentially air shows live in the future, “albeit with a few seconds delay in case things get saucy.”
The streaming giant’s fascinating move could also open the door to live sporting events and capitalize on the success of the network’s documentary series Formula 1: Drive to Survive.
Netflix is under mounting pressure to salvage its ailing business model and has lost around 200,000 subscribers in the first three months of the year.
This was the first time the giant had fallen in a decade; and a dramatic reversal of their goal of adding 2.5 million.
To negate that, Netflix — which expects to lose another two million subscribers this second quarter — has accelerated plans to launch a cheaper subscription plan that’s subsidized by advertising.
This should arrive towards the end of the year.