Netflix reportedly has plans to roll out livestreaming — a capability that could bring an entirely new value for the streamer as it experiences a major slump in subscriber growth. This is in the early stages of development, however; it will apparently launch for its many unscripted shows and stand-up specials.
Deadline first broke the news and according to sources, a small team within the company is in the preliminary stages of developing the product.
Netflix confirmed to TechCrunch that the Deadline story is accurate. The company stressed it is early days and it doesn’t have a timeline, but the effort will be focused on its unscripted content and events, such as competition shows, reality reunions, live comedy shows, and a future Netflix is a Joke festival.
Disney+ was the latest of Netflix’s rivals to test livestreams. The streaming service aired its first-ever livestream in February, testing a live showing of the Academy Awards nominations. It also became the new home of “Dancing with the Stars,” the celebrity dance competition series set to debut later this year as a live series on the platform.
From mobile games to an ad-supported tier, Netflix has explored new offerings in recent months. If Netflix were to explore livestreaming, it means the platform could use live voting for competition series such as “Dance 100” and reality TV programs like “The Circle.” Netflix also had its reunion special for season five of “Selling Sunset,” which would be another opportunity for a live showing.
Additionally, when the Netflix is a Joke festival comes back, the live comedy event could potentially air stand-up performances by Dave Chappelle, Larry David and Pete Davidson, among other big names.
The biggest question is whether livestreaming could be rolled out for sports; however, there has been no evidence of that ever happening.
Update, 5/16/22, 6:30 p.m. Updated with Netflix comment.