Netflix sign-ups jump during coronavirus lockdowns

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Netflix has seen subscriber numbers surge this year, as lockdowns round the world keep people reception where they need to be entertained.Almost 16 million people created accounts within the first three months of the year, the firm said.

That is almost double the new sign-ups it saw within the final months of 2019.However, the streaming service, which is behind some multi-million dollar productions, said shutdowns have halted “almost all” filming round the world.

And sharp declines within the value of the many currencies has meant new subscribers outside of the US, where Netflix is predicated , aren’t worth the maximum amount to the corporate as they might are before the crisis. which has hurt its international revenue growth.

Nevertheless, the home-entertainment giant’s share price has climbed quite 30% this year as investors back on its ability to profit from people spending longer indoors.

Tiger King
“Netflix is and can still be the media company least impacted by Covid-19,” said eMarketer analyst Eric Haggstrom. “Their business may be a near perfect fit a population that’s suddenly housebound.”

Demand for streaming has been so high that Netflix last month said it might reduce the standard of its videos in Europe to ease strain on internet service providers. The firm also hired a further 2,000 customer support staff to handle the increased interest.

Netflix said some 85 million people had watched its original movie, Spenser Confidential, for a minimum of two minutes – the cut-off it uses for viewing figures. Meanwhile, the documentary series Tiger King reached 64 million households.

The firm expected to feature another 7.5 million members within the three months to the top of June – above analyst expectations. But it warned investors that viewers and growth would decline as governments lift lockdowns round the world.

“Given the uncertainty on home confinement timing this is often mostly guesswork,” it said.

Netflix said it expects to stay to its release schedule through June and has been acquiring other movies to stay its offering fresh. But it said future membership growth might be hurt by delays to approaching seasons and shows.

Paolo Pescatore, analyst at PP Foresight, said production delays would hurt subscriber growth in the least streaming companies in coming months.

“Arguably, Netflix should fare far better with its broad catalogue,” he said.

Analysis
by Zoe Thomas, BBC News Technology Reporter

Netflix’s early subscriber growth certainly caught the eye of Wall Street investors. But spectacular growth during a period where most of the world’s internet users are under orders to remain reception may be a bit less impressive.

The bigger question for Netflix is can it retain those paying customers after Covid-19 lockdown measures are eased.The company is facing increasing competition from the likes of Disney Plus and Amazon Prime, which both boast of huge archives of content to draw in new subscribers.

Meanwhile, newly-launched short-form streaming service Quibi spent billions to release content with top Hollywood talent. And later this year HBO Max and NBCUniversal will launch Peacock within the US.

In the streaming world, content is king and more rivals mean Netflix will got to prop up its lineup. That’s where coronavirus – a positive when it involves driving subscriber growth – becomes a possible negative. Netflix had to pause the assembly of latest shows during the lockdown.

Its rivals face an equivalent challenge. But big brands like NBCUniversal and Disney also are pulling popular shows that they had leased to Netflix and showing on their own services instead.

Europe, the center East and Africa accounted for the most important number of latest members with almost 7 million new subscribers. Growth within the US and Canada, which has lagged in recent quarters, also jumped, with 2.3 million new members joining the service, compared to only 550,000 within the final months of 2019.

The firm now has quite 182 million subscribers worldwide.

Netflix said revenue increased to $5.76 billion, up quite 27% compared to an equivalent period in 2019. Profits almost doubled from $344 million within the half-moon of 2019 to $709 million.

Source: BBC NEWS

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