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Netflix has promoted longtime chief content officer Ted Sarandos to the co-CEO position, the company said today after reporting a second straight quarter of higher-than-usual global subscriber gains driven by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.The appointment means Sarandos, who has been with Netflix for more than two decades, will helm the streaming service alongside founder and CEO Reed Hastings. Sarandos has also been elected to the streamers’ board of directors. He will continue to serve as chief content officer, where he oversees all of the programming decisions at the service.“Ted has been my partner for decades,” Hastings said in a statement. “This change makes formal what was already informal—that Ted and I share the leadership of Netflix.”Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer, is also taking on the role of chief operating officer, the company said.The new appointments atop the streaming giant come following another major quarter for the streamer, as the seemingly ceaseless Covid-19 pandemic has prompted record streaming viewership around the country and world. Netflix reported 15.7 million new subscribers last quarter, nearly double its expected global subscriber growth but told shareholders at the time that the temporary spike in viewing and membership growth would likely decelerate as home confinement ends.That hasn’t happened yet, and the streamer is again beating its own estimates. This quarter, the service netted 10 million more global subscribers compared to the 7.5 million it had projected. In the U.S. and Canada, the streamer brought in 2.9 million paid streamers, pushing total subscribers in the region to nearly 73 million. That means the streaming giant now has nearly 193 million subscribers, an enviable figure for the increasingly numerous rivals in the streaming space that are also hoping to take their own share of paid streaming consumers.With that subscriber growth also comes spikes in revenue, which grew 25% year over year to $6.1 billion. Operating income was also up to $1.4 billion. Nonetheless, the company slightly missed earnings per share.As restrictions ease in some countries and in some states in the U.S., the streamer is expecting to see a contraction in the second half of the year. The streamer already saw some slowdown in June and is only forecasting 2.5 million paid net additions for the third quarter, compared to the 6.8 million it reported in the third quarter last year.But Netflix is still not expecting to have the pandemic disrupt its production calendar as much as it has for some newer streamers like Peacock and HBO Max. Netflix’s production works into the future, Sarandos told shareholders last quarter, meaning that most filming and production work has already been completed for the 2020 slate.And productions that did pause only saw minor delays. “For 2021, based on our current plan, we expect the paused productions will lead to a more second-half weighted content slate in terms of our big titles, although we anticipate the total number of originals for the full year will still be higher than 2020,” the company wrote in its shareholders’ letter.Production has resumed in some parts of the world, primarily in the Asia Pacific region, but also in countries like Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Italy and the U.K. However, the company is less certain about its U.S. slate. “While we recently resumed production on two films in California and two stop-motion animation projects in Oregon and expect some more of our U.S. productions to get going this quarter, current infection trends create more uncertainty for our productions in the U.S.,” the company wrote.To round out its content slate and account for any production challenges, Netflix has added some additional big-ticket acquisitions, including Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and the unreleased third season of YouTube Premium original series Cobra Kai, which is moving to the platform.Continue Reading

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