Netflix misses subscriber target and offers weak forecast

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Netflix Inc missed Wall Street forecasts for new subscribers and offered a weaker-than-expected forecast for early 2022 as rivals ignited a dispute over TV viewers. .

The world’s largest streaming service added 8.3 million customers from October to December, when it launched new programming that included star-studded movies like “Red Notice” and “Don’t Look Up” and a new season of “The Witcher.” “.

Industry analysts had expected Netflix to add 8.4 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Shares of Netflix fell 10% in after-hours trading on Thursday.

The company’s total global subscribers reached 221.8 million.

Last week, Netflix raised prices in its biggest market, the United States and Canada, where growth is stagnant, analysts say, and is now looking to expand abroad.

The company rode on a rollercoaster ride during the pandemic, with strong growth in early 2020 as people stayed home and movie theaters were closed, followed by a slowdown in 2021.

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Netflix captured more than 36 million customers in 2020 and 18.2 million in 2021.

In 2022, Netflix subscriber growth is expected to level off and return to the pace seen before the pandemic, according to analysts.

The company’s upcoming lineup includes new installments of “Ozark,” “Bridgerton” and “Stranger Things” and a three-part Kanye West documentary.

But its competitors, such as Walt Disney Co and HBO Max, are pouring billions into creating new shows to grab a piece of the streaming market.