>> The fortunes of Netflix are booming. Subscriber numbers are up. They've just announced a price bump so investors are happy. And big budget productions like Bird Box are racking up millions of views a day. But there's one surprising thing that's got CEO Reed Hastings worried. It's not HBO or Hulu, it's video game Fortnite.
Nearly 80 million people played this smash hit in August alone, and it's numbers like that that mean the Battle royale may have cashed in over 2.4 billion in sales last year. That's more than any Hollywood blockbuster released in 2018. And it's caused the Netflix chief to send a letter to shareholders saying he sees Fortnite as a major competitor.
Reuters Breaking Views columnist Robyn Mak explains why.>> That's really odd if you think about it because Fortnite is a game. But if you look closely then you can sorta see why these traditional media companies will be concerned. And this game is quite simple and addictive. It lasts 10 to 15 minutes.
And it's incredibly popular amongst young and old people.>> That simplicity means it's not just fun to play, but it's also fun to watch.>> Lots of people really enjoy watching other people play this game. So on video sites like Twitch, lots of people log in to stream other people play Fortnite as well.
>> And that's gained a global audience of more than 200 million players. And all those eyes watching and playing Fortnite, that's a potentially very big hole in the Netflix audience.>> Both Fortnite and Netflix are battling for consumers' attention and time because it's very finite. If lot's of people are spending their time on Fortnite, watching Fortnite then there's less time on Netflix or Disney or HBO.
>> So for now it looks like the giants of content might be right to be alarmed by the meteoric rise of Fortnite and the massive audiences games like it pull down online.