In 1665, Cambridge University closed as a precaution against the plague. Isaac Newton retreated to his home at Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire and spent the next two years – in what we might characterise as lockdown – working out calculus, optics and developing his universal law of gravitation. For most of us coping with a 21st century plague that has blighted our world, binge-watching boxsets on Netflix (US:NFLX) has seemed ample diversion.
Few companies can have enjoyed such a boost from the enforced incarceration of lockdown. Sofas never had so much use. Shares in Netflix soared as users flocked to the platform in the first half of the year, but the growth is slowing, and the competition is getting a lot tougher. So can Netflix retain its status as the king of the streamers?