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Netflix looking at livestreaming certain shows

Netflix is exploring the idea of livestreaming a range of content, a recent report claimed.

Up to now the company has steered clear of livestreaming, but a report by entertainment website Deadline said Netflix is looking into the idea of deploying the capability for a “swathe of unscripted shows and stand-up specials.”

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Netflix confirmed to Deadline that the plan is being overseen by a “small group” of personnel and is currently in the “early stages of development.” The report gave no specific dates for when the first livestreamed content might appear on the platform.

It’s suggested that the company could livestream events such as Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival, featuring a raft of stand-up comics. But that won’t happen this year as the company recently wrapped up filming for the latest festival, which will stream from May 19 through June 23 and feature sets from the likes of Bill Burr and Amy Schumer.

If Netflix moves ahead with the plan, livestreamed stand-up shows might air with a few seconds’ delay in case parts of a set were deemed inappropriate for general viewing.

Competition-based shows such as the upcoming Dance 100 could also be ripe for livestreaming, and pave the way for live voting rounds to find a winner.

Netflix’s growing interest in livestreaming comes as the company looks for ways to entice new sign-ups and retain existing subscribers in the face of growing competition from other streaming platforms such as Disney+, Apple TV+, and HBO Max.

However, it appears Netflix isn’t yet ready to consider livestreaming sports events.

Responding to a question on the matter during the company’s latest earnings call last month, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said: “I’m not saying we never would do sports, but we would have to see a path to growing a big revenue stream and a big profit stream with it.”

In another change aimed at bolstering its service, Netflix is preparing to launch a tier that includes ads — possibly before the end of this year — that will offer customers a low-priced subscription option.

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