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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Netflix's ambition is to replace television — to be the thing you turn on out of force of habit as you sink into your couch, whether or not you really have any idea what you want to watch. With a large enough library, and detailed enough data about your viewing preferences, Netflix should always be able to find something to entertain you.

Driving the news: The company disappointed the market with its second-quarter earnings report this week. International subscribers grew more slowly than anticipated, while the number of U.S. subscribers actually fell.

  • Subscriber growth will return in the third quarter, thanks in large part to season 3 of "Stranger Things." The lesson here is that Netflix needs a steady stream of new hits if it's going to keep on growing.
  • In Hollywood, no one can predictably manufacture a new hit every quarter. The more that Netflix is reliant on hits for future growth, the less excited Wall Street is going to be about the company.

The other side: Netflix kept substantially all of its U.S. subscribers even after hitting them with a 20% subscription-price hike. Even if a higher sticker price made it harder for Netflix to attract new subscribers, existing customers seem to be extremely loyal to the brand.

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The TikTok deal's for-show provisions and flimsy foundations

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The new deal to rescue TikTok from a threatened U.S. ban — full of provisions aimed at creating the temporary appearance of a presidential win — looks like a sort of Potemkin village agreement.

How it works: Potemkin villages were fake-storefront towns stood up to impress a visiting czar and dignitaries. When the visitors left, the stage set got struck.

  • Similarly, many elements of this plan look hastily erected and easily abandoned once the spotlight moves on.
1 hour ago - Technology

Over 3 million U.S. voters have already registered on social media

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An estimated 2.5 million+ Americans have registered to vote on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Facebook announced Monday. More than 733,000 Americans have registered to vote so far via Snapchat.

Why it matters: The broad reach of social media platforms makes them uniquely effective at engaging voters — especially younger voters who may not know how to register to vote or be civically engaged.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street: Recession is over

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. economic activity fell more sharply in the second quarter of this year than during any other quarter in history. It's also going to grow more sharply in the third quarter of this year than during any other quarter in history.

  • The recession is over, according to Wall Street, with current forecasts showing sustained economic growth through 2021 and beyond.