Streaming giant Netflix added 8.3 million subscribers globally during the October-December quarter, as opposed to its projection of 8.5 million. The company saw a downward trend in subscriber growth with net additions declining by more than 50% to 18 million in 2021 compared with 37 million a year ago.
The total number of company subscribers worldwide at the end of 2021 reached 221.8 million people.The company follows a January-December accounting year. The Reed Hastings-owned service also projects to add just 2.5 million subscribers in Q1 2022, down from 4 million last year.
“We delivered 8.3 million paid net adds. So it was just a bit shy about tenth of a per cent of roughly 222 million paying members,” said Netflix Co-founder and Chairman Reed Hastings in an earnings call.
It is “definitely frustrating for us, the current slower growth”, he added.
Hastings said that overall, the business was healthy and retention was strong.
“But on the margin, we didn’t grow acquisition quite as fast as we would have liked to see on our large subscriber base. Our acquisition was growing, just not growing quite as fast as we were perhaps hoping or forecasting,” he admitted.
In the Asia and Pacific region, large parts of which continue to witness covid-induced disruption, the platform raised paid memberships by 2.6 million versus 2 million in the year-ago quarter, with strong growth in both Japan and India. At $7.7 billion, the revenue in Q4 2021 grew 16 per cent (year over year) with a 9 per cent increase in average paid memberships.
“It’s a dynamic market for sure, it may not be as steady as people think about it in terms of we’re gonna add X number every quarter, every month, every week, but there’s no question that’s the direction the business is going in,” said co-CEO Ted Sarandos.