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Weekly Tech Recap: Netflix's 'Stranger Things' Strategy
Courtesy of Netflix

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Netflix’s subscriber numbers have been a bit Upside Down lately, with the streaming giant shedding customers last quarter instead of adding them.

But one thing that’s still worked well for Netflix is “Stranger Things,” the hit sci-fi horror series that just wrapped up its fourth season. The latest installment surpassed 1 billion hours watched, making it the second-most-viewed title in Netflix history. The show dominates the cultural zeitgeist like few others, with the ability to send singer Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” near the top of the charts 37 years after its release.

So it’s no surprise that Netflix is now doubling down on “Stranger Things,” planning a spinoff series developed by the show’s creators Matt and Ross Duffer.

Building upon proven blockbusters is, of course, not a new idea in Hollywood. But the streaming wars have put the strategy on steroids. Just take a look at Disney Plus, which next month releases “Andor,” a “Star Wars” spinoff that’s a prequel to the spinoff “Rogue One,” as well as “Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation,” in which the galactic battles are put on hold for some much needed R&R. All told, Disney had planned for 10 new Star Wars series and 10 Marvel shows in the near future.

While Netflix lacks that kind of franchise firepower, “Stranger Things” is one of their biggest arsenals. It makes sense that, even as Netflix grasps at new ideas like reversing its resistance to advertising, the company is betting big on something that already works.

The streaming service needs all the help it can get: Netflix not only reported its first subscriber loss in a decade during the first quarter, but predicted that the second quarter would be even worse. That dire prediction came despite knowing that “Stranger Things 4” was set to stream this summer. It’s a sign that, for Netflix, simply adding more “Stranger Things” monsters won’t be a silver bullet.

Here’s What Happened in LA’s Entertainment Tech World This Week 🍿

Glytch wants to build 32 in-person U.S. esports arenas, starting in L.A.

E3, the gaming convention that's been on hold since the pandemic, is returning to L.A. in-person next year.

A lawsuit against TikTok takes a new tack in alleging the company responsible for the death of two children.

TikTok is dropping its plans to bring live shopping to U.S. users.

Lawmakers are pushing the FCC to investigate whether TikTok has deceived U.S. users’ about their data privacy.

Transportation 🚗

Here's where the White House intends to spend over $700 million to boost electric vehicle infrastructure.

Rocket Lab has launched a NASA crew into space on its reusable Electron rocket.

Electric vehicle startups Rivian, Xos and the unpredictable EV industry.

Venture Capital 💰

Long Beach's accelerator program welcomed its fourth cohort of startups.

In the sixth installment of his ‘How to Startup’ series, Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff looks at how to find product-market fit.

See the full list of SoCal fundraising for the week in our "Raises" round up.

🎧 Listen Up 

Hyperprice founder Anthony Katz tells the story of how he “accidentally” became an entrepreneur after meeting Kobe Bryant on this week's PCH Driven podcast.

Overture VC Co-founder Shomik Dutta talks about how his background in politics prepared him for investing in climate tech on the L.A. Venture podcast.

Melissa Hibbért, founder of SHYFT Beauty Consulting, talks about how she went from corporate life to her dream job on the Behind Her Empire podcast.


A USC program is incubating startups to aid Ukrainian refugees.

Come see dot.LA IRL at LA Tech Week 2022!

Sawtelle-based adtech startup Emotive laid off 18% of its staff.

Healthvana is offering free telehealth visits for those who test positive for COVID-19.

Snapchat hires the former director of the U.S. Secret Service.


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