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Netflix reverts to startup mode as it looks for "growth" engineering pros

1 month ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Trends
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

Now that Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) TV+ and Disney+ ($NYSE:DIS) are going live in November, and with NBC ($NASDAQ:CMCSA) announcing its own streaming service called Peacock, all while HBO Max is locking down streaming rights of its own, people are beginning to address the elephant in the room: What about Netflix ($NASDAQ:NFLX)?

The company that made streaming a thing is, by some analysts' estimates, at risk of being priced out of its own market. After all, Netflix is decidely more expensive than the new entrants (it starts at $9/month compared to Apple TV+'s $4.99 and Disney+'s $6.99).

While it's certainly not time to worry — Netflix's momentum at this point is arguably unstoppable, and its singular focus on streaming without being part of a multi-faceted empire like Apple, Disney, or even HBO — there's no question that Netflix will be battening down the proverbial hatches this winter.

The first bits of evidence of this are now in: hiring data suggests that Netflix is back in startup mode, with a focus on customer acquisitions and growth. Jobs with the term "growth" in their titles spiked this summer.

Typically, growth jobs are the domain of startups looking to create revenue and customer bases as they aim for profitability and further rounds of finance. But Netflix went public way back in 2002 and has since proven its ability to grow — even internationally — at a scale rarely seen before, even in the entertainment business.

While Netflix has hired for "growth" professionals since at least 2016, the number of jobs with that keyword swelled beginning last spring, from 4 openings to 13 as of this week.

The jobs are largely engineering positions, from iOS and Android app developers to analytics engineers to "optimize the signup experience and driving engagement".

Overall, hiring at Netflix is up in September after a July-August slowdown, perhaps as Netflix took pause to understand launch schedules from its upcoming competitors. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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