Log in
E-mail
Password
Show password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

Global 'Squid Game' mania lifts Netflix quarter

10/19/2021 | 07:18pm EST
FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with the Netflix logo lies in front of displayed

(Reuters) -Netflix Inc's global sensation "Squid Game" helped lure more new customers than expected, the world's largest streaming service said on Tuesday as it predicted a packed lineup would further boost signups through the end of the year.

After a sharp slowdown in the first half of 2021, Netflix added 4.38 million subscribers from July through September to reach 213.6 million worldwide. Wall Street analysts had projected 3.86 million additions, according to Refinitiv data.

Netflix enjoyed a subscriber boom last year as COVID-19 kept audiences at home, but growth stalled early this year. At the same time, Walt Disney Co's Disney+, AT&T Inc's HBO Max and other competitors bolstered their offerings. Netflix blamed the earlier weakness in part on a thin slate of new programming caused by production shutdowns from the pandemic.

Then, South Korean drama "Squid Game" debuted on Sept. 17 and surprised executives by becoming the streaming service's most-watched original series in its first month. On Tuesday, Netflix said a "mind-boggling" 142 million households had watched the dark drama about people who compete in a deadly competition to erase financial debt.

The series, made with a relatively small budget, shot to the top of Netflix viewing charts in 94 countries, kick-started sales of track suits and Vans sneakers, and kindled interest in learning Korean https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/netflix-hit-show-squid-game-spurs-interest-learning-korean-2021-10-11. "Squid Game" merchandise is now on its way to retailers, Netflix said.

The fervor around "Squid Game" also is expected to lift the current quarter. Netflix projected it will pick up 8.5 million new customers by year's end, ahead of industry forecasts of 8.33 million, as it releases a heavy lineup of new programming. Upcoming debuts include big-budget action flick "Red Notice" and a second season of fantasy drama "The Witcher."

It also expects a "more normalized" programming slate in 2022 spread throughout the year, "assuming no new COVID waves or unforeseen events," the company said in a quarterly letter to shareholders.

Shares of Netflix were close to even in after-hours trading at $641 following the earnings report.

OVERSEAS GROWTH

Most new customer pickups in the quarter came from the Asia Pacific market, where Netflix now has 30 million subscribers. Industry experts believe the region may rival the United States and Canada - Netflix's largest market - in three to five years, said Third Bridge senior analyst Joe McCormack.

Netflix is trying new ways to attract customers overseas, including offering a free plan in Kenya https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/exclusive-netflix-offers-free-plan-kenya-entice-new-subscribers-2021-09-20. It will take one to two years to tell if that tactic leads to more paying subscribers, the company said.

For the quarter that ended in September, diluted earnings-per-share came in at $3.19, beating analyst expectations of $2.57. Revenue rose 16% to $7.5 billion.

Before the earnings report, Netflix shares had risen roughly 22% this year and were trading near record highs, but their gains lag behind the 54% increase in the Nasdaq.

Netflix, which keeps much of its viewership data secret, also said it will release information more frequently and shift its main publicly reported metric to hours viewed, rather than the number of accounts that watched a title for at least 2 minutes. The company noted that it competes with a large set of activities beyond TV including TikTok and Fortnite. When Facebook Inc suffered a global outage in early October, "our engagement saw a 14% increase during this time period," Netflix said.

Executives did not address worker complaints about a Dave Chappelle comedy special, which the company has previously defended. Some employees say Chappelle made comments that harmful to transgender people, and they plan a walkout on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles;Editing by Matthew Lewis and Stephen Coates)

By Lisa Richwine and Eva Mathews


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BELIEVE 1.17% 17.846 Real-time Quote.0.00%
FACEBOOK INC -0.07% 310.39 Delayed Quote.13.63%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
08:15aU.S. government could miss payments as soon as Dec. 21 -think tank
RE
08:12aEM flows tumble in November from year-ago record - IIF
RE
08:08aAmEx Global Business Travel to go public via $5.3 billion Apollo SPAC deal
RE
08:06aSoccer-Real Madrid, Barcelona propose alternative to CVC investment in LaLiga
RE
08:02aSterling edges lower as dollar strengthens, eyes on BoE
RE
07:56aChina will cut reserve ratios in timely way, says premier
RE
07:55aFacebook's struggle with Gateway Pundit highlights challenge of containing disinformation
RE
07:47aChina Evergrande gets $260 million demand, warns of non-payment
RE
07:44aBank of Canada Q3 2022 rate hike expected, Q2 rise possible
RE
07:36aTSX futures flat as Omicron dents sentiment propped by stronger crude
RE
Latest news "Economy & Forex"