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Netflix is no longer just a video streaming service: in November 2021 it started adding mobile games to its mobile app, including some based on its Stranger Things franchise. Now the company’s ambitions in gaming have stepped up several notches with a significant acquisition.

Netflix is paying €65m (around $72m) to buy Finnish mobile games developer Next Games to beef up its internal game studio capabilities. Stranger Things is a factor here: Next Games has already worked with Netflix on a ‘Puzzle Tales’ game based on the show.

“While we’re just getting started in games, I am confident that together with Next Games we will be able to build a portfolio of world class games that will delight our members around the world,” said Netflix’s VP of games Michael Verdu.

For Netflix, games offer people a reason to spend more time within its service, and when they’re tied to its IP – its original shows – so much the better.

Which makes us start to wonder… how might games sit interestingly within music streaming services? What could Spotify do with in-app music games, for example, or how might Apple Arcade’s Tetris Beat have a presence within Apple Music? A potential trend to ponder…

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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