Streaming platform missed subscriber forecasts for the fourth quarter in a row, reporting a worldwide total of 221.84 million, adding 8.3 million new users in 2021.
In its letter to shareholders, Netflix CEO, Ted Sarandos, wrote “While retention and engagement remain healthy, acquisition growth has not yet re-accelerated to pre-Covid levels”.
Subscribers acquisition is slowing down across the VOD segment, but Netflix seems to be hit the hardest, as the leader, who needs to constantly watch his back. Sarandos promised a slate of sure-fire hits, including second seasons of Bridgerton or Squid Game, the two most-watched TV shows on Netflix ever. Still, new models for future subscribers growth are less optimistic now and Netflix’s stock fell down after the release of the Q4 report.
Netflix also released fourth-week numbers for Don’t Look Up three days ago. Blockbuster satire starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence stopped short of the record, getting 349.9 million hours streamed in four weeks, compared to 364 million hours of Red Notice. It is still a big deal for such a movie to get numbers like this. Netflix promises more AAA movie blockbusters like this to bring new subscribers. It is expanding into the videogame segment and you may have noticed the Fast Laughs feature in mobile apps, providing short clips from various Netflix shows and stand-up specials, that you can watch when you don’t have spare time for the full episode or a movie. The platform is trying to learn new tricks to impress new customers, but the price is also going up, at least in the US. Only time will tell if Netflix can provide enough to stay on the top of the food chain.