Netflix loses almost a million subscribers

Netflix loses almost a million subscribers

Netflix continued to lose subscribers in the second quarter as the streaming group tried to assuage fears about its business prospects, telling investors it was “confident and optimistic about the future”.

The company lost about 1mn subscribers in the second quarter, a smaller loss than the 2mn it had forecast would cancel their accounts, as it was helped in part by the release of a new season of the hit show Stranger Things.

However, Netflix projected it would gain 1mn subscribers in the third quarter, a slower turnround than the 1.8mn that Wall Street analysts expected.

The results come after Netflix spooked investors in April when it revealed its decade-long subscriber growth had ended, raising questions about the value of entertainment companies scrambling to compete in streaming.

The stumble rippled across Hollywood and prompted a sell-off in shares of big media groups such as Disney and Warner Bros Discovery that triggered a more austere approach to television and movie production in the past few months.

Netflix shares rose 7 per cent in after-hours trading, but are still down nearly 70 per cent since the start of the year.

The company has been hit by intensified competition, a more saturated US market and its decision to increase prices at a time when consumers are coping with soaring inflation.

Asia-Pacific was the only region in which Netflix added subscribers in the three months to the end of June. Netflix signed up 1.1mn subscribers in the region while losing 1.3mn in the US and Canada and 800,000 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In a letter to investors on Tuesday, Netflix acknowledged that re-accelerating its growth would be “a big challenge” but defended its status as “the leader in streaming”.

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