Netflix cites price bumps as reason for Q2 loss of US subscribers

If you’ve recently finished binge watching the third season of Stranger Things, you’re one of many, with it breaking all kinds of streaming records on Netflix. Things haven’t gone as smoothly as the platform may have hoped during Q2 of 2019, however, with a loss in subscribers located in the United States.

It’s arguably Netlfix’s biggest market, and it’s the first time that the platform has suffered a subscriber loss since 2011. More specifically it lost an estimated 130 000 subscribers in Q2. It also gained a total of 2.7 million users globally for the quarter, which falls below the 5 million that the company had initially projected.

Is this simply an anomaly or the start of a trend for the platform?

Naturally Netflix is stating the former, with CEO Reed Hastings noting the subscriber loss and below-projected growth are down to the fact that the platform introduced a significant price increase at the beginning of the year, which essentially led to a “flat” growth.

“Our missed forecast was across all regions, but slightly more so in regions with price increases,” Hastings explained.

“We don’t believe competition was a factor since there wasn’t a material change in the competitive landscape during Q2, and competitive intensity and our penetration is varied across regions,” he added.

Hastings also quelled any investor concerns by stating that success of shows like Stranger Things, as well as new seasons for popular Netflix-exclusive shows like The Crown will see subscriber number take a turn for the better.

Whether that is indeed the case, remains to be seen, especially as more US networks begin to work on their own streaming services, such as AT&T’s HBO Max, which will pull series like Friends from the service next year.

As such Netflix may soon find itself with far more competitors in the streaming space in the coming months and years, and potentially less content in its catalogue. If Disney+ for example decided to make all its content exclusive for example, a large chunk of content on the platform would be inaccessible.

The streaming wars then, could be on the horizon.


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