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Netflix looks to broadcast live with a twist in major platform shake-up

Mirror logo Mirror 20/05/2022 Paul Speed

Under-fire Netflix is looking to start broadcasting live for the first time in a drastic bid to help stop a slump in subscriptions.

The entertainment giant is thinking of live-streaming its unscripted shows and stand-up specials, paving the way for a more shared ‘appointment to view’ experience - just like in the older days of traditional television.

The move would open up a whole new level of interactivity for viewers, who could vote in real-time on shows such as mega-popular reality series The Circle.

According to American online news site Deadline, Netflix has confirmed it is in the 'early stages of development' for live streaming.

The report says “'The move opens up the potential to order a whole new raft of unscripted series to use the technology, bringing it in to line with the linear networks, which often air live specials for big competition series such as ABC's American Ido l and Dancing with the Stars, which is moving to Disney+ ”.

The scope for innovation is enormous, with reunions for popular shows such as real estate-flogging Selling Sunset or dating series Love Is Blind taking on a whole new dimension when transmitted live.

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Mel B and Emma Bunton © Tom Dymond/Netflix Mel B and Emma Bunton

The technology could also be used to live stream Netflix 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 that in the future, Netflix could potentially air shows live ‘albeit with a few seconds delay in case things get saucy’.

The streaming giant’s intriguing move could also kick the door open for live sporting events, capitalising on the success of the network’s documentary series Formula 1 : Drive to Survive.

Netflix has been under increasing pressure to save its flagging business model, shedding some 200,000 subscribers in the first three months of the year.

This was the first time in a decade the giant took a tumble; and a dramatic reversal of their aim of adding 2.5 million.

To negate this, Netflix – who expect to lose a further two million subscribers this second quarter - have sped up plans to bring in a cheaper subscription plan, subsidised by adverts.

This is expected to come in towards the end of the year.

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