Netflix cash all the boxes

For now, the news has made less noise than the success of Lupine and yet, it marks a new milestone for Netflix. “We believe that we are very close to achieving a free cash flow sustainably positive and that we no longer need external investments to finance our day-to-day operations ”, can we read in the annual letter to the shareholders of the platform, dated January 19. The share price of the American giant immediately jumped again.

Its cash flow ($ 8.2 billion) and a credit capacity of some $ 750 million allow it to approach 2021 in a new movement of massive conquest and production autonomy on a global scale, capitalizing today on more 200 million subscribers. With his line-up torrential 70 feature films, which should fall at the rate of one new title per week, we understand that the 20 billion dollars spent in 2020 on content investments should not only fill the shelves of the platform. They still need to expand its subscriber portfolio, improve its ability to keep them warm, as the competition, now bloated, intends to divert them from this service, which has long benefited from its tremendous lead in changing uses. Indeed, faced with the disaster of the lasting closure of theaters circuits, Disney or Warner measure their delay a little more each day, the crisis operating for them a change of model at forced march against a background of controversy and grumbling, as disgruntled filmmakers (such as Denis Villeneuve and his Dune in a carafe) than astonished operators.

Combat de titans

Netflix doesn’t have this problem and is ripping through the storm. The platform communicates more than ever on house successes, spreading numbers everywhere on The Crown, the game of the lady or recently Lupin, a success that Omar Sy echoed on Twitter: “70 million is crazy!” (in reference to an announcement showing the number of views of the French series after twenty-eight days of online presence). To judge the earthquake that dislocates the architecture of the podium steps, just remember that Pixar released at Christmas, on the Disney + platform, a kind of masterpiece (Soul) and that no one is able to say whether or not the film is a success! After its launch, Pete Docter’s animated film seemed to slip away, affecting only (dare I say it) the 87 million Disney + subscribers anyway. The old box office gauge looks pitiful here, like an old demonetized golden calf: Soul, theatrical release in a few territories capitalized $ 32,500,000 in profit (for comparison The other way around, from the same Pete Docter, released worldwide in theaters in 2015, it was $ 857,611,174 in revenue).

In this battle of the titans of mass entertainment, Netflix has established itself as master of the forges hitting iron in a blaze of his invention. Because the transparency of the platform’s audience measurements has always been questioning. In 2019, Ted Sarandos, director of global content (since last summer, promoted to co-CEO) assured that the box would make an effort on this point and rankings were released based on a 70% viewing of a feature film or an episode of a series. This criterion changed last year. You are now counted among the millions of views if you have watched at least two minutes of a series or a movie. The implementation of the “top 10” system pushes the most requested content and the algorithm tends to serve it to you at all times. We tested, for example, a research “Japanese cinema” or «David Fincher» and Lupin appeared each time in the list of tagged products. Also, the random launch, at the end of viewing, of any content whatsoever always exposes and again the carrier titles that you had not specially requested.

Read also“Lupine”: set, cast, screenplay … the recipes for success

The TV channels compared their strengths based on analyzes by the Nielsen Institute, allowing them to then negotiate advertising rates. Netflix has no ads, and breaks the barometers old school box office and TV audience measurements. Already in 2015, Ted Sarandos claimed that the house series Narcos had been seen worldwide more than Game of Thrones (broadcast on HBO) and this self-fulfilling prophecy bravado is … coming true.

Didier Peron


are the end-of-year celebrations the cause of an upsurge in the epidemic?

THE CHEKING PROCESS – It had been one of the government’s main fears for several months. Thursday evening, Jean Castex finally expressed his relief. Is right ?

THE QUESTION. «Factory at Covid.It is with this colorful expression that Prime Minister Jean Castex had expressed his fear of an explosion in the number of contaminations with the end of year celebrations, Christmas and New Year.

Finally, this Thursday evening, the head of government expressed his relief on this front: “We were able to spend the end of the year celebrations without an outbreak“. There has certainly not been an outbreak, but, for several days, have we not been witnessing an upsurge, for the moment certainly still contained? Could this be related?

CHECKS. Establishing such a causal link is not an easy exercise because of the various biases which make it difficult to assess the real number of cases. Since the start of the epidemic, we know that the available epidemiological data depend on the screening policy itself. If we screen a lot, we automatically obtain more positive tests, especially since the Covid is characterized by the contamination of many people who remain asymptomatic. Without an all-out screening policy, the latter would not necessarily think of being vaccinated. It is this halo of asymptomatic cases that we detect more or less depending on the size of the screening campaign. However, precisely, especially in France where tests are free, the French, anticipating a risk of contamination during family reunions, have decided to be tested before or during the holidays, for no particular reason other than a principle of prevention, which was also encouraged by part of the medical profession.

Daily number of tests carried out per 1000 inhabitants in different European countries. Our World in Data

We thus observe a very clear peak in the daily number of tests on December 24 at 7.87 tests per 1000 inhabitants. Just on Christmas Eve, nearly 1% of French people went to be tested! This peak is very much above that of November 3 (4.78 tests per 1000 inhabitants) which corresponded to the peak of the second wave. The French Christmas peak was only exceeded by the United Kingdom which, on January 11, carried out 8.41 tests per 1,000 inhabitants (and the bullish movement seems to be continuing). But the British case is special because the country is hit by a very strong epidemic recovery due to the “mutant” born in the south-east of England. In France, on the other hand, the daily number of tests has since fallen but it remains higher (around 4 or even 4.5 per 1,000 inhabitants) than between mid-November and mid-December (3 to 3.5).

Positivity rate for screening tests in France. Our World in Data

Given this change in the daily number of tests, we can study another variable, the positivity rate, which corresponds to the positive portion of tests. It had reached a peak on October 29 at 15.9% corresponding, again at the peak of the second wave. It then gradually descended due to the curfew and then the second confinement to reach a plateau between 6% and 6.5% from November 28 to December 15 (date of the end of confinement and the return of the curfew), then a sharp drop until Christmas. If we now observe this positivity rate from December 24 to today, we note a sharp increase in it from 2.9% to 6.5%.

Temperature and thermometer

Did the health measures allow a decrease until the holidays and did they then encourage a return of the epidemic? This hypothesis suffers from a bias: the massive increase in the number of tests carried out in anticipation and during the holidays has inevitably reduced the positivity rate artificially since many people have been tested as a precaution. We must therefore not confuse the temperature and the thermometer … In reality, the positivity rate (which is today around 6% or 6.5% since it stopped decreasing) seems to be returning to its level. end of November / beginning of December. With one difference, it is that in the meantime, and beyond the Christmas peak, the number of tests carried out has increased, which makes it possible to conclude that the number of cases of contamination has increased compared to this period.

Daily number of positive cases detected in France per million inhabitants. Our World in Data

This hypothesis is corroborated by the graph of the daily number of contaminations which shows a slight upward trend since the end of November, but which has accelerated markedly in recent days. Thus, on November 27, the daily number of contaminations for one million inhabitants was 193. This same value was 233 on January 5, that is to say a contained increase. On the other hand, from January 5 to 11, i.e. in just one week, the daily number of contaminations per million inhabitants rose from 233 to 320, which represents a much sharper increase (nearly + 50%). ). This epidemic recovery, although less strong than in other European countries (Spain, United Kingdom, Portugal in particular) is confirmed by a leading indicator and much more objective (because not dependent on the screening policy): the quantity of virus found. in wastewater. However, for more than a week, the government has been worried about such an increase in this indicator.

Beyond the biases inherent in the screening policy, there is therefore an epidemic resumption that has been observed since January 5. However, between the incubation time of the virus and the time to get tested and obtain the result, we can assume that the real start of this increase is around the 1is January, which could therefore correspond to the New Year (but not so much for Christmas). In any case, there is a correlation between these two phenomena. But the causal link, if it exists, is much less obvious than it appears. Besides, if there was such a link, how to explain that Christmas did not have an observable effect (while the curfew was exceptionally lifted) but that the New Year did?

Asked about this, Doctor Martin Blachier does not favor the holiday hypothesis. “If the holidays had played a role in the epidemic recovery, we would not see a long rise like today, but a very clear daily peak», Explains the doctor, partner of the company Public Health Expertise. “In this case, I think that this recovery is mainly explained by the return to work, with the end of the holidays, but also the weariness with regard to teleworking. If we look at the data from Google Mobility, we can clearly see that work trips have increased again», Argues Dr Blachier.

Evolution of work shifts in relation to the reference. Google Mobility

«Many French people can no longer stay at home and some companies are wary of this device. Many people therefore return to the office a few days a week, which in fact represents a relaxation of barrier gestures.He continues. What is at stake is not only the hours spent at the office, during which the wearing of a mask is compulsory, but also the return of lunches between colleagues which are done within the companies themselves with dishes “to take away».

And the mutant?

Could the weather also play a role? “The effects of weather on the epidemic do exist, but the links between the two are very complex to identify. It’s not that simple: the colder it is, the more the virus thrives. As studies from Météo France have shown, there are very specific windows in terms of temperature and humidity in which the Covid tends to progress», Answers, skeptical, Martin Blachier.

Quid, finally, variants of the Covid, which are already circulating in the territory? If we are based on government estimates, this epidemic resumption can not already be explained by the British mutant insofar as it represents today only 1% of contaminations. Even if this figure is underestimated (which is possible because of the difficulties in terms of monitoring), it is difficult to imagine that it is to the point of being able to explain a 50% increase in the number of contaminations since January 1.

In the coming days, we will have to carefully observe the number of new hospitalizations and the number of deaths, two indicators which have the merit of being more objective than the number of contaminations, but the lack of being delayed in time because we do not he is not hospitalized and we do not die the day we are infected.

Number of new Covid hospitalizations in France. Public Health France

For now, the number of new hospitalizations has been relatively stable since the decline of the second wave, which seems to indicate that the epidemic has indeed reached a plateau from mid-November to the end of December. But the situation could mechanically evolve upwards in a few days if the increase in the number of cases of contamination is confirmed.

Daily number of deaths due to Covid per million people in France Our World in Data

Regarding the daily number of deaths, we find a notable increase since January 8 (latest value: 6.02 deaths per million inhabitants) after a significant decrease from December 25 to January 7 (between 4.2 and 4.8). The situation is again more or less the same as in the first half of December. Here again, we will have to observe the curves in the coming days.

In summary, there has been a slow epidemic recovery since the 1is January, which nevertheless seems to be accelerating in recent days. But there is nothing to indicate that this upsurge could be

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Why does the lockdown work so little?

Düsseldorf Many shops are closed, schools and restaurants are closed, and there is no end in sight to the restrictions. Germany has been in a so-called hard lockdown since December 16, 2020 in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, the number of new infections has only decreased slightly since the beginning of the year. Has the lockdown failed? And if so, why?

The answer to the questions is all the more urgent because mutations of the virus are likely to be on the rise in Germany. These can often infect people much more effectively.

This makes people’s precautionary measures against Corona even more important. Data from the University of Erfurt provide valuable information for this. Psychologist Cornelia Betsch and her team question thousands of people every week about their behavior in times of Corona.

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Italy to extend restrictions when Christmas ends

After establishing harsh restrictions during Christmas, including the maintenance of the curfew at 10 pm and the closure of bars and restaurants, which can only sell takeout, the Italian Government is considering continuing with these and other measures when the holidays are over to try to avoid a spike in coronavirus infections. Among the sectors sacrificed will be education again, as various regions announced this Monday that they are delaying the reopening of face-to-face classes in secondary schools, initially scheduled for this Thursday, January 7. Territories like Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia postpone it until at least February.

Health authorities They fear that in the coming days there will be an increase in the number of infected people due to the increased sociability during Christmas celebrations. Despite the fact that throughout this period only two people with whom one does not live are allowed to invite to one’s own home, Pierpaolo Sileri, Deputy Minister of Health, acknowledged that there had been “a greater risk of exposure.” That is why the Government plans to approve a new decree with subsequent measures to minimize the risk of a third wave of the pandemic.

Among the restrictions that are being considered, according to the local media, is the maintenance of the prohibition on mobility in the regions and the invitation of more than two people to their own home. Bars and restaurants would have to remain closed, although they may be allowed to open only on weekends. These measures will be in effect at least until January 15. The Executive also plans to tighten the conditions required for the regions to go from the red level (which means almost total closure), to orange and yellow.

Italy registered 348 deaths from coronavirus on Monday and 10,800 new cases, detected with almost 78,000 tests, a relatively low number. The percentage of positives was 13.8%. “At this moment we are verifying the results of the shopping days prior to Christmas,” said Agostino Miozzo, coordinator of the Technical-Scientific Committee that advises the Government, referring to the agglomerations that occurred in the commercial areas of the cities some time ago. two weeks. Miozzo hoped that the “painful” restrictions on the Christmas period would lead to a fall in the epidemiological curve.

Italy is expected to receive a second shipment on Tuesday with 470,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer Biontech, although there is a serious delay in the supply of the first vials. The country has inoculated the serum to 122,000 people so far, using only 25% of the vials received. The very slow rate of vaccination in some regions, with flagrant cases such as Lombardy (less than 4%) or Sardinia, where the campaign has not even started, has provoked criticism from the central government to the regions, which have transferred health responsibilities .


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Did David Lynch foresee the Capitol storm? Would Houellebecq still write praiseworthy essays about Trump now? Perhaps the greatest potential of social media lies in its abuse? Jan Küveler and Boris Pofalla answer these questions in the features podcast. .

Benedict XVI, the pandemic and the first Christmas without his brother

Archbishop Georg Gänswein tells how the Pope Emeritus, who was vaccinated on the morning of Thursday 14 January, is experiencing this difficult time


Benedict XVI’s was the first Christmas he lived without his brother Georg, even if his presence made itself felt in some way. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household and private secretary of the Pope Emeritus on the day when Joseph Ratzinger was vaccinated in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican, tells Vatican News.

“The brother of Benedict XVI, during these Christmas holidays – the first after his death – made himself heard in some way: we have in fact listened to the CDs several times, not only Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, but also those of the concerts with the Christmas carols performed by the Regensburger Domspatzen, the choir that Georg Ratzinger conducted ”. The secretary of the Pope Emeritus adds: “This lack for Benedict is a wound, which caused pain during these holidays, but he also told me that he felt the consolation of the Lord, in the certainty that his brother now lives in His embrace”.

Monsignor Gänswein also tells how this time of pandemic is living inside the Mater Ecclesiae monastery. “The daily organization has not changed much, the rhythm of the days has remained the same, even if the visits have been greatly reduced. Benedict follows the news that reaches us through television and shares our concern for the pandemic, for what is happening in the world, for the many people who lose their lives due to the virus. There were people he met who died from Covid-19 ”.

Finally, the secretary of Benedict XVI, after the dissemination of the images relating to the meeting with Pope Francis and the new cardinals last November, confirms that Ratzinger is physically fragile but very lucid. “Physically, he is very fragile and can only walk a little with the walker. His voice is also weak. The time dedicated to rest has increased, but we continue to go out every afternoon, despite the cold, in the Vatican gardens. Every day I celebrate Mass and he concelebrates while remaining seated. For daily prayer we have prepared enlarged texts for him so that he can better follow the Liturgy of the Hours, and we continue to take meals together as we have always done ”.


Architecture in the French ski resort of Megève

Dhe Christmas was approaching. But the lifts stood still in Megève. Back then, a few years ago, it wasn’t about a pandemic. Rather, another problem that is likely to affect the Alps on a large scale soon cast its long shadow ahead: the lack of snow. And Megève – at only 1105 meters above sea level – first had to postpone the start of the ski season in 2014, then change the Christmas plans. Those of the hoteliers who still had capacity in higher-lying ski resorts would hurry their guests for the holidays to where it was still reliably snowing: to Flaine, Avoriaz or Les Arcs, which are up to 1,800 meters.

Megève, which can be imagined as a kind of French Kitzbühel or Sankt Anton, is now faced with a similar challenge again: who comes when you are not allowed to ski? In winter sports resorts, where 80 percent of the population work in tourism, the risk of infection by the virus causes a standstill in the main season. Doesn’t anyone come here to consume something? Or just the enviable families who own a holiday home?

In contrast to Chamonix, 35 kilometers away, Megève is not a multi-layered city in the mountains. Climbers, mountaineers, hikers and Mont Blanc tourists come to Chamonix in summer; and in winter there are skiers, from ski school children to extreme freeriders. Megève, on the other hand, is a pure winter sports resort. And unlike Courchevel, which in Savoy is considered a glamorous destination for Russians, Arabs and gourmets from all over the world, unlike Méribel with its British guests, Megève is a traditional Christmas destination that attracts upper-class French and Belgians with second homes. Other visitors, whom Megève is now hoping for, were able to rent houses in abundance for the quiet turn of the year between Lady, Combloux and Praz-sur-Arly, many of them large and luxuriously furnished. There is just enough free space. The hotels, on the other hand, are closed due to the corona, and comfortable skiing with the lift is currently canceled.

A question of perspective: Le Mêmes presentation of the bar “Le Mauvais pas”.

Bild: Departmental Archives of Haute-Savoie

But all those who are still there can now walk under the closed cable cars with masks over the slopes, right up to the colored houses of Henry Jacques Le Même. The architect hardly known in Germany, but very well known in France, worked as a contemporary and small opponent of the great Le Corbusier. Megève had been a health resort since 1903. The Belgian King and the British Queen spent their holidays here. Around 1920 Noémie de Rothschild persuaded her uncle to develop a ski station. Le Même came into play early on and opened a studio. First of all, he built a contemporary “Savoy farmhouse” for the Rothschilds on Mont d’Arbois – the beginning of the Alpine modernity of Megève. In 1929 he even submitted the draft for the neighboring chalet, which a Bourbon princess had built for itself, as a thesis at the Paris Ecole des Beaux-Arts.


16,946 new corona infections and 465 new deaths reported

Dhe German health authorities reported 16,946 new corona infections within one day on Sunday. In addition, 465 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours, as the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced in the morning. The number of cases recorded is usually lower on Sundays, partly because fewer tests are carried out on the weekend. Basically, the interpretation of the data is currently difficult because around Christmas and the turn of the year, according to the RKI, corona cases were discovered, recorded and transmitted with a delay.

The number of new infections reported to the health authorities within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (seven-day incidence) was 162.2 on Sunday morning. Its previous high was reached on December 22nd at 197.6. The differences between the federal states are enormous, however: Saxony had the highest incidences with 269.8 and Thuringia with 232.4. Bremen had the lowest value with 74.0. Because of the holidays, the weekly values ​​should also be assessed with caution.

Almost two million cases

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the RKI has counted 1,908,527 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Germany. The total number of people who died with or with a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 rose to 40,343. The RKI stated the number of people recovered to be around 1,525,300.

According to the RKI report on Sunday, the nationwide seven-day R value was 1.16 (Saturday: 1.17). This means that 100 infected people theoretically infect 116 more people. The value represents the occurrence of the infection 8 to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a long time, the infection process subsides. In its report, however, the RKI emphasizes that around the turn of the year, corona cases are only discovered, recorded and transmitted with a delay, “so that the R value may be underestimated”.