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Netflix raises prices again after strong subscriber growth

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Netflix reported third-quarter earnings and is doing well. Revenue increased as the company added 9 million subscribers worldwide.

Netflix is also using this opportunity to raise the prices of some of its U.S., U.K., and French plans to differentiate ad-free plans from its entry-level ad-supported plan. New subscribers to the most expensive plan will pay $22.99 per month.

Let’s step back and examine Netflix’s current situation. Netflix cracked down on password sharing in its home market and dozens of others in May. The third quarter is the first full quarter under the new rules, so we can see the effect of password sharing.

The company removed the basic tier in the U.S. and U.K. two months ago to simplify its offering. People must pay a lot to remove Netflix ads.

Reports suggest that many customers are experiencing subscription fatigue and considering canceling some streaming subscriptions, but Netflix still has room for growth, especially with advertising revenue.

The company has 247.15 million subscribers. The number of subscribers increased 8.76 million this quarter. Netflix subscribers haven’t grown that much since Q2 2020, when Covid lockdowns were enforced worldwide.

Netflix earned $3.73 per share on $8.5 billion in revenue this quarter. As ads plan subscribers rise almost 70% quarter-over-quarter, ads are contributing more to the bottom line. Nearly a third of new subscribers use ads.

Netflix shares are up 13.75% pre-market ($393.79 per share) on good news for shareholders. However, subscribers will be unhappy because the company will raise prices for some plans again in three key markets. Full breakdown here.

In the U.S.:

  • Standard with ads: $6.99 per month (no change)
  • Basic (no longer available): $11.99 per month (up from $9.99)
  • Standard: $15.49 per month (no change)
  • Premium (with 4K streaming): $22.99 per month (up from $19.99)

In the U.K.:

  • Standard with ads: £4.99 per month (no change)
  • Basic (no longer available): £7.99 per month (up from £6.99)
  • Standard: £10.99 per month (no change)
  • Premium (with 4K streaming): £17.99 per month (up from £15.99)

In France:

  • Standard with ads: €5.99 per month (no change)
  • Basic (still available in France for now): €10.99 per month (up from €8.99)
  • Standard: €13.49 per month (no change)
  • Premium (with 4K streaming): €19.99 per month (up from €17.99)

New subscriptions start at these prices today. Bills for existing subscribers will rise in the coming weeks.

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

Gaming

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s Retry Wording Has Been Updated in a Subtle Manner

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Despite the numerous praises players have showered upon Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, there is one particular aspect of the game that has garnered nothing but criticism: the perplexing wording of its retry screen, which players encounter when facing a Game Over. Fortunately, the developers have discreetly resolved this issue in the game’s latest patch. They have fixed the Platinum Trophy progression, resulting in a slightly less confusing experience for players.

If you don’t possess exceptional combat abilities, chances are you’ve come across the game’s notorious four options: “Retry from Current Battle, Retry from This Battle, Retry from Before Battle, or Resume.”. As an avid gamer, I must admit that I’ve experienced the frustration of losing precious time due to my own foolish mistake. In this particular instance, I found myself engrossed in fine-tuning my matrix and equipping my party, only to have it all go to waste when I encountered a formidable enemy. To compound my error, I made the ill-advised decision to retry the battle, resulting in an hour of agonizing repetition. Lesson learned!

The “Retry from This Battle” option has become a source of frustration for players who are struggling with the game’s final boss encounter, leading to a significant number of rage-quits. Without giving away any surprises, opting for that choice after being defeated would result in players being sent back to the beginning of the final boss encounter, needlessly forcing them to forfeit approximately an hour’s worth of hard-earned progress in battle.

After the update, players now have the option to select “Retry from the Current Phase” instead of “Retry from Before the Current Battle.”. It’s worth noting that this change is only slightly improved. It’s rather disappointing that the screen is overly convoluted, which may lead to players feeling frustrated. While it’s better late than never, we can’t help but wonder if this issue will persist in the future.

 

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Gaming

Baldur’s Gate 3 has received an impressive haul of 5 BAFTA Awards, with the prestigious title of Best Game among them

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Baldur’s Gate 3 continues to solidify its position as a standout title, garnering five prestigious BAFTA awards, including the highly coveted Best Game accolade. In addition to the top accolade of the evening, the RPG created by the talented team at Larian Studios also emerged victorious in the categories of narrative, music, players’ choice, and performer in a supporting role.

Several games for the PS5 and PS4 received BAFTA awards. Alan Wake 2 won for Audio Achievement, Cyberpunk 2077 was recognized as an Evolving Game, Viewfinder was named the Best British Game, and Nadji Jeter received the Performer in a Leading Role award for his portrayal of Miles Morales in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Standing on the stage that night, Swen Vincke, the founder of Larian Studios, expressed his disbelief: “It’s truly incredible to be here.” The effort and dedication poured into creating Baldur’s Gate 3 is truly commendable. It’s truly remarkable, and I extend my gratitude to Bafta and everyone involved.

Here are the winners of the BAFTA awards for 2024:

  • Debut game: Venba
  • Audio achievement: Alan Wake 2
  • Multiplayer: Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • Evolving game: Cyberpunk 2077
  • Game design: Dave the Diver
  • British game: Viewfinder
  • Artistic achievement: Alan Wake 2
  • New intellectual property — Viewfinder
  • Narrative: Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Performer in a supporting role: Andrew Wincott, Raphael in Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Family — Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • EE Players’ Choice — Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Animation — Hi-Fi Rush
  • Music — Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Game Beyond Entertainment — Tchia
  • Technical achievement: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Performer in a leading role — Nadji Jeter, Miles Morales in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Best game: Baldur’s Gate 3

 

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Geek Culture

Financial records from before Starlink show that SpaceX spent a lot of money on moonshot bets

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SpaceX’s 2018 and 2019 confidential financial records give us a first look at how much the company probably depends on its Starlink business unit and getting the Starship rocket online in order to start making money.

The detailed balance sheets are from five years ago, but they give a very close look at how one of the most important and mysterious private companies in the U.S. works. In November, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that SpaceX went from losing $2 billion in sales to supposedly making $9 billion in 2023 and $15 billion in 2024. These numbers help show what the company spent its money on and how much it spent it.

The company had two important years in 2018 and 2019: SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time in February 2018. In March of that year, the company failed a key flight test of its crew Dragon capsule, but a month later, the same capsule exploded while being tested on the ground. SpaceX was probably under a lot of pressure to give NASA astronauts a safe, reliable spaceship so that it could start making more money from the huge government contract it won to carry crews.

Also, SpaceX sent up its first 60 Starlink satellites that year. The company’s main goal is to build a colony of humans on Mars, or, as CEO Elon Musk often says, “to expand the light of consciousness” throughout the universe. The service has become an important part of those plans.

Let’s look at it

Comprehensive balance sheets from those years that were looked at show that the company made $1.98 billion in sales in 2018 and $1.45 billion in 2019, but it had a net loss of -$308 million in 2018 and -$501 million in 2019. SpaceX changed how it reported revenue from the percentage of a total contract that was completed to the percentage of discrete aspects of each contract that were completed because of a change in accounting rules, which is why revenue went down from 2018 to 2019. I saw the documents that explained this. I asked SpaceX for a word on this story, but they didn’t answer.

Most of the losses were due to “cost of revenue,” which is a broad term for all the costs that come with making and selling a product or service. In this item, it also lists the prices of its employees and contractors, as well as the rent and utilities. SpaceX even takes into account the costs of reusing launch vehicle gear that has lost value over time.

Additionally, the business spent a lot of money on R&D—$559 million in 2018 and $661 million the following year. Companies often put the costs of hiring people in this line item; this is the “development” part of R&D. In SpaceX’s case, though, the financial statement says that these costs were mostly for the Starlink and Starship projects. SpaceX launched the first batch of operational Starlink satellites in May 2019, which was a significant advancement for the program. At the end of 2018, the company had $868 million in cash and cash equivalents. In 2019, they will have $990 million.

The balance sheets cover the years after NASA gave SpaceX contracts to take people and things to and from the International Space Station. Getting contracts with NASA from the U.S. government brought in 37% of the money in 2018 and 83% of the money in 2019. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise.

The company’s value grew to $180 billion at the end of last year. Since May 2019, when 60 Starlink satellites were launched, it has made truly huge progress: More than 5,500 active satellites are now in space, and more than 2.5 million people have signed up to use them. This is clear from the fact that sales are through the roof.

When Starship gets there, things might change again. The huge rocket is currently being tested in space from the company’s launch site in Texas. It will be needed to keep up the launch schedule for the second-generation satellites. These satellites will weigh almost twice as much as the first generation of satellites. Adding more satellites to orbit will help end users get more room.

It was in May 2022 that Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said that Starship “is the only thing that can carry the Starlink 2 satellites.”

“Falcon [9] does not have the volume or the mass-to-orbit capability that Starlink 2 needs,” he said.

A lot of people have questions about SpaceX’s most recent financials. The company uses its own rocket, the Falcon 9, to launch its Starlink satellites. This lets it send the internet satellites into space at a rate that has never been seen before. The company can spread out the cost of gear over time because the rocket booster can be used more than once. But it will take longer to get Starlink to millions more people around the world if Starship doesn’t go live right away.

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