Netflix hoped to add 6 million subscribers last quarter, but only added 4 million. The streaming giant pointed to COVID-19 as the reason for the slowed growth. The pandemic led to production delays that limited the amount of new content Netflix was able to produce.
The company said increased competition was not behind the miss in subscriber numbers, but more streaming services are online now than a year ago. Newcomers include HBO Max, Peacock, and Paramount+.
In other streaming numbers, HBO Max added 2.7 million subscribers in the first quarter, a promising report for the WarnerMedia streaming service. When WarnerMedia decided to debut all its 2021 movies in theaters and on streaming on the same day, the hope was the move would lead to more signups for HBO Max. Some of the new subscribers likely came for those films, but that is money WarnerMedia isn’t getting at the box office.
Meanwhile, an update on the Scott Rudin front. The prolific producer is long known to be a bully in the industry, but after “The Hollywood Reporter” published on-the-record allegations about his behavior, Rudin stepped back from his upcoming Broadway and film projects. It’s not clear what “stepping back” actually means.
Some have taken a stand — Sutton Foster reportedly said she would not participate in Rudin’s upcoming Broadway production of “The Music Man” unless he stepped down. But much of Hollywood has stayed mum.
Several unions have put out statements about workplace bullying, including the Producers Guild of America, which has pledged to create a new task force addressing the issue.
Kim Masters spoke to multiple executives who are hopeful for a Rudin return. The major film studios haven’t said anything about Rudin, though they are largely out of the business of making the kind of arthouse films Rudin is known for.
Longtime Rubin collaborators Aaron Sorkin and Frances McDormand, who are both nominated for Oscars, have yet to publicly address the allegations about Rudin, or say whether or not they’ll continue to work with him.