Media Companies Incorporate Gaming to Enhance User Engagement and Retention

Media Companies Incorporate Gaming to Enhance User Engagement and Retention

Alexei Petrov
3 min read

Media Companies Incorporate Gaming to Enhance User Engagement and Retention

Media companies are increasingly embracing games as a strategy to capture and retain user attention in a highly competitive market. One such example is Netflix, which now offers almost 100 games, including acclaimed titles such as GTA: The Trilogy and Assassin’s Creed, to its subscribers on iOS and Android devices at no additional cost. In 2023, the number of downloads from Netflix’s gaming section reached a substantial 81.2 million. Moreover, the company is exploring new avenues such as browser-based play and cloud gaming.

Similarly, YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, debuted "Playables" in May 2024, presenting over 75 minigames like Angry Birds Showdown and Cut the Rope on desktop and mobile devices without the need for downloads. In response to competitive pressures, Sling TV launched "Arcade," providing a collection of classic arcade games like Doodle Jump and Tetris that can be played alongside TV content on select devices.

Even LinkedIn has ventured into the gaming space by introducing three interactive games in May, designed to enrich user engagement such as sudoku-style challenges, trivia games, and a game similar to the New York Times’ Connections.

Key Takeaways

  • Netflix Expands Gaming Library: Nearly 100 games, including popular titles and games based on original series, are now accessible for free to subscribers on iOS and Android.
  • YouTube Introduces Playables: Over 75 minigames like Angry Birds and Trivia Crack are now freely available for all users on desktop and mobile.
  • Sling TV Adds Arcade Feature: Provides 10 classic arcade games playable while watching TV, available on select devices.
  • LinkedIn Ventures into Gaming: Launched three games to enhance user engagement and networking among connections.
  • Gaming as a User Retention Strategy: Media companies are integrating gaming to compete for user attention and retain subscribers.


Media behemoths like Netflix and YouTube are capitalizing on gaming as a means to elevate user engagement and loyalty. This momentum stems from competitive forces and the aspiration to diversify revenue streams. Short-term effects include augmented app usage and potential subscription growth. In the long run, these companies may experience heightened brand allegiance and an expanded market reach. Competitors, including Sling TV and LinkedIn, are also venturing into gaming to remain pertinent. Financial instruments linked to these firms might encounter fluctuations as market dynamics evolve. By and large, gaming integration stands as a strategic move with momentous implications for the future of the media industry.

Did You Know?

  • Netflix's Cloud Gaming Integration:
    • Definition: Netflix’s integration of cloud gaming allows subscribers to engage in gaming without the need for high-end hardware, essentially streaming games directly from the cloud to their devices.
    • Benefits: Enhances accessibility by enabling gaming across various devices, diminishes storage requirements, and delivers a seamless gaming experience.
    • Challenges: Demands a robust infrastructure and high-speed internet, potentially encountering latency issues, and relying on cloud service providers.
  • YouTube's Playables:
    • Definition: "Playables" is a feature introduced by YouTube that enables users to play mini-games directly on the platform without the necessity of downloads.
    • Innovation: This feature leverages YouTube's extensive user base and platform integration to offer a distinctive gaming experience within the video-watching environment.
    • Impact: Spurs user engagement, establishes a new revenue stream through in-game ads and microtransactions, and competes with traditional gaming platforms.
  • LinkedIn's Gamification Strategy:
    • Definition: LinkedIn's incorporation of games such as Sudoku and trivia constitutes a form of gamification, using game-like elements to enrich user engagement and networking.
    • Purpose: Aims to infuse interactivity and enjoyment into the platform, encouraging users to spend prolonged periods on LinkedIn and fortify professional connections.
    • Potential: Might lead to heightened user retention, more active networking, and a competitive advantage in the professional social networking sphere.

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