Netflix is unquestionably the world's dominant streaming service in the world, but the company behind such hits as Bird Box and Stranger Things doesn't view other digital platforms like HBO and Hulu as its biggest competition. Instead, its rival may be a wildly popular mobile game.
In a letter sent Thursday to shareholders, Netflix declared it's more concerned about Fortnite, from Epic Games. Under the heading "Competition," the streaming service states, "We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors. We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO."
That's an honest and objective assessment. Netflix's subscribers grew in 2018 to 139 million, well short of Fortnite's 200 million players. As a content provider, Netflix competes for the attention, and money, of all entertainment consumers, whether they devote their free time to watching film and television, or playing video games.
Netflix isn't particularly worried by Hulu, noting that while it's relatively big in the United States, its reach into Canada is virtually "nonexistent." Conversely, Netflix Canada possesses the third-largest streaming catalog in the world as of summer 2018.
The statement goes on to say that, in the end, Netflix's growth is based on subscriber satisfaction with their overall experience, and the company's "focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members."