COVID-19 : Netflix Added 16 Million New Subscribers
Netflix Inc. ended the first quarter with nearly 16 million new subscribers as people around the globe stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic are increasingly turning to streaming services to entertain themselves.
The streaming service added more than 15.7 million subscribers globally in its most recent quarter, increasing its total global membership base to 182.9 million, the company said today in its quarterly earnings report. That figure represents nearly double the growth the streaming service enjoyed abroad last quarter, when it netted 8.3 million global subscribers.
“At Netflix, we’re acutely aware that we are fortunate to have a service that is even more meaningful to people confined at home, and which we can operate remotely with minimal disruption in the short to medium term,” the letter reads. “Like other home entertainment services, we’re seeing temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth. In our case, this is offset by a sharply stronger US dollar, depressing our international revenue, resulting in revenue-as-forecast.” Netflix is taking extra precautions right now in an uncertain time, including “temporarily reduced the number of product innovations we try.”
CEO Reed Hastings and his team were careful to note that this blistering growth can’t continue for long, and in fact likely involves pulling forward gains from future quarters. Executives predicted a more modest 7.5 million additions for the second quarter. “We expect viewing to decline and membership growth to decelerate as home confinement ends, which we hope is soon,” Hastings said in a letter to investors.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has forced the delay of most of Netflix’s content production, and that could pressure long-term subscriber gains if the pause drags on for much longer.