Netflix sets quarterly record gaining nearly 16 million subscribers amid coronavirus

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Netflix announced Tuesday that it had gained nearly 16 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, setting a quarterly record for the streaming service.

The news, which comes as millions of Americans are confined at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, did not come with higher-than-predicted revenues due to the growth of the U.S. dollar, which slowed international revenue growth, the company said.

“Hopefully, progress against the virus will allow governments to lift the home confinement soon. As that happens, we expect viewing and growth to decline. Our internal forecast and guidance is for 7.5 million global paid net additions in Q2. Given the uncertainty on home confinement timing, this is mostly guesswork,” the company said in a letter to investors.

“Our content competitors and suppliers will be impacted about as much as we are, in terms of new titles. Since we have a large library with thousands of titles for viewing and very strong recommendations, our member satisfaction may be less impacted than our peers’ by a shortage of new content, but it will take time to tell,” company executives added.

The company noted that it had committed $150 million to support the international entertainment industry amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has largely shuttered production as nonessential businesses around the U.S. and elsewhere have closed.

Shares of the company’s stock rose briefly with the announcement Tuesday afternoon but still closed 0.84 percent down for the day.

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