Netflix reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers between January and March. It is the first time that the streaming giant has had a negative result in this regard since 2011, in quarterly balance sheets.
The Asia Pacific (APAC) region was the only one to register an increase in subscribers in the period. The global subscriber base remained at 221.6 million, but the company projects that it will lose another 2 million customers in the second quarter of this year.
The expectation was that the number of subscribers would grow by 2.5 million in the first months of the year. In a letter to shareholders, the company said that the Covid pandemic upset these forecasts because there was a significant increase in revenue in 2020, causing most of the slow growth seen in 2021 to be understood only as a rebound effect of that acceleration.
The company linked the loss of subscribers in the United States and Canada to the recent increase in the prices of its plans in those countries. The suspension of service in Russia, decided by the company because of the war against Ukraine, also impacted the results for the quarter.
[…] our relatively high household penetration – when including the large number of households sharing accounts – combined with competition, is creating revenue growth headwinds.
Netflix also highlighted the increase in competition in the segment and pointed out that it has missed opportunities to increase the number of payers due to shared passwords. The company estimates that 100 million users enjoy shared passwords worldwide.
Last month, Netflix had already announced a measure to curb this practice: charging an extra fee would begin to be tested in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.