Netflix warned it could lose more subscribers in the second quarter of this year than it did in the first, and that prediction has come true — although it wasn’t as bad as feared. The streaming service said it was lost nearly 1 million subscribers (970,000 to be exact) in the second quarter. That’s far more than the 200,000 member decline from Q1, but not as dismal as the 2 million Netflix was willing to part with.
The company attributed the slightly rosier outcome to “better-than-expected” subscriber growth, particularly in areas such as Asia-Pacific. The company still posted a net profit of $1.44 billion, despite its shrinking customer base and unfavorable exchange rates for the US dollar. Unfriendly exchange rates are a particularly difficult problem when nearly 60 percent of revenue comes from outside the country, Netflix said.
The media giant expects a turnaround for the third quarter, albeit slowly. It now predicts that it will add 1 million net subscribers. While that’s a long way from the 4.4 million Netflix added a year earlier, it’s a marked improvement over the past six months. The strong start for Stranger Things 4 might help – the nostalgic show is now Netflix’s most-watched season of English TV to date with over 1.3 billion hours of viewing.
Netflix’s recovery plan will sound familiar to you. The company is still pinning its hopes on a lower-priced ad-supported tier expected in early 2023, and expects to launch in a “handful of markets” where ad spend is already strong. The service also plans to curb account sharing and is experimenting with ideas that charge for additional homes. The completed sharing system could also be rolled out in 2023.
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