Netflix reports first subscriber loss in 10 years

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Netflix reported its first subscriber loss in more than ten years on Tuesday, causing its shares to fall more than 20 percent.

The streaming giant reported a drop of 200,000 subscribers during the first quarter of 2022. The company last reported a loss in subscribers in October 2011, according to Reuters.

The company’s stock saw a 23 percent dive in after-market trading, which erased $30 billion in market value, the outlet noted.

Netflix had previously told shareholders it expected an additional 2.5 million net subscribers during the first quarter of 2022.

In a letter to shareholders, the streaming service said it expects the drop in subscriptions to continue and forecasted a global paid subscriber loss of 2 million for the second quarter.

The company added “in the near term though, we’re not growing revenue as fast as we’d like,” adding that “COVID clouded the picture by significantly increasing our growth in 2020, leading us to believe that most of our slowing growth in 2021 was due to the COVID pull forward.”

Netflix added it’s harder to grow membership in many markets as “in addition to our 222 million paying households, we estimate that Netflix is being shared with over 100 million additional households.”

“However, our relatively high household penetration — when including the large number of households sharing accounts — combined with competition, is creating revenue growth headwinds,” it added.

It also cited growing competition in the streaming space, including new services launched by YouTube, Amazon and Hulu as a factor.

The streaming service blamed “sluggish economic growth, increasing inflation, and geopolitical events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” as well as “some continued disruption from COVID” for impacting its growth as well.

The company said the suspension of its service in Russia and the winding-down of all Russian paid
memberships, in response to the war, resulted in 700,000 lost subscribers.

It added that much of its future growth will come from outside the US and added that 3 out of 6 of its most popular TV seasons of all time are non-English language titles, including “Squid Game,” “Money Heist: Part 4” and “All Of Us Are Dead.”

Netflix had previously announced it was raising its subscription prices in 2022 in the U.S. and Canada to pay for new programming for the platform.

Tags netflix Netflix Russia-Ukraine war

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