Netflix’s games aren’t very popular, video game industry slides post pandemic, and eBay’s new refurbished program causes headaches for resellers.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, August 9, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.
In a bid to diversify its revenue stream, Netflix launched a collection of mobile games for its subscribers last year. The roster consists of 24 games with 26 more on the way. But as a new study showed, fewer than one per cent of its subscribers are actually playing them. Although they’ve engaged 1.7 million people and have been downloaded more than 23 million times, that’s a drop into the bucket compared to Netflix’s 2021 subscriber base. The company hit a financial snag in 2022, losing almost a million subscribers between April and June, its largest drop in a single quarter. With that said, Netflix is expecting its user base to grow in Q3.
Now that social distancing is largely behind us, people are returning to the outdoors to stay in touch. This in turn has driven down the video game industry, which enjoyed a massive boom during the height of the pandemic. Q2 financial reports from video game giants like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all showed a steep slide from their peaks. According to research by NDP, Americans spent $12.4 billion on video games in Q2 2022, down 13 percent year-over-year. Not only are eased social restrictions attributing to the decline, the on-going semiconductor shortage is also weighing down growth in the video game industry.
eBay’s new differentiation between “refurbished” and “used” is causing headaches among resellers on its platform. Earlier this year, the e-commerce platform began a new refurbished program to better define what products can be considered refurbished. Although this sounds like a positive policy for consumers, a report by KnowTechnie that the program restricts the “refurbished” label only to alleged sellers approved by eBay. To qualify, sellers need to sign a non-disclosure agreement that covers both the refurbished stands and the qualification process. The sellers are bound by the NDA even if they fail. This forces them to sell all non-new items as “used,” putting them at a disadvantage against their qualified competitors.
The FCC has voted unanimously to begin exploring manufacturing in space. According to its notice of inquiry, the Commission wants to develop in-flight satellite refueling, inspections and repairs. But before it begins researching space factories, it wants to overcome a major hurdle: space junk. FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel noted that there are thousands of metric tons of junk in space that threatens the plan. Because they move at extremely high speeds, even the smallest debris can cause major damage to equipment. NASA said that objects as small as paint specs carry enough force to damage space shuttle windows.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.