(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 22nd Apr, 2020) London, Uk – –
The streaming giant added 15.77 million new customers, with shows such as Tiger King and Love Is Blind drawing big audiences
Dominic Rushe and Benjamin Lee in New York
Netflix has more than doubled the number of new subscribers it expected in the last three months as more people signed up amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The streaming giant announced on Tuesday that it added 15.77 million new paid subscribers globally, well above the 7 million it had expected, as people worldwide sought ways to entertain themselves during the lockdowns.
The boost led to huge audiences for the service’s hit shows. About 64 million subscribers watched Netflix’s Tiger King documentary as much of the world went into lockdown to avoid the pandemic. Other hits included the reality show Love Is Blind, which attracted 30 million subscribers in the last three months, and its original film Spenser Confidential (85 million).
The company acknowledged that the huge surge in membership and audience was probably temporary.
“In our 20+ year history, we have never seen a future more uncertain or unsettling. The coronavirus has reached every corner of the world and, in the absence of a widespread treatment or vaccine, no one knows how or when this terrible crisis will end,” the company said in a statement.
“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. Like other home entertainment services, we’re seeing temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth.”
Mihir Haria Shah, head of broadcast at Total Media, said the long-term impact of the coronavirus on Netflix’s business remained to be seen.
“There is no doubt that Netflix has been helped by the viral sensation that is Tiger King and also new seasons of Narcos Mexico, Ozark and Money Heist – which are all Netflix originals favourites. The challenge in continuing to grow and also preventing churn is likely to be how long they can sustain dripping in new series with production studios shut for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Netflix, like many other studios and networks, has shut down production on original content since 13 March. The streamer has since set up a $100m fund for workers whose jobs have been directly affected. Recent weeks have seen a number of large acquisitions, including the Paramount action comedy The Lovebirds and Enola Holmes, with Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown as the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes.
“While we’re certainly impacted by the global production pause, we expect to continue to be able to provide a terrific variety of new titles throughout 2020 and 2021,” the statement said.