Netflix: Streaming service misses its audience target

Netflix: Streaming service misses its audience target


In the past year in particular, the streaming service Netflix was able to win numerous new subscribers in many countries due to the global corona pandemic and the associated exit restrictions. Netflix also had big goals for the first quarter of 2021 - but could not achieve all of them.

As the company announced in a current annual report, around four million new subscribers were added in the first quarter of this year so the total has grown to 208 million. This is a very respectable number in and of itself, but the streaming service had actually expected an increase of six million subscribers. Accordingly, this self-imposed goal was missed. Netflix cited the corona pandemic and the associated effects on the production of new content as the reason for this. The shooting for some films and series had been postponed so that they could not be included in the program as planned. This should also include Season 2 of The Witcher. The end of this "ebb" is only expected in the second half of the year - then probably combined with a larger increase in new subscribers.

Fittingly: This awaits you in May 2021 on Netflix

The rest of Netflix's numbers are much more positive, by the way. The streaming service was able to increase sales compared to the previous year by 24 percent to 7.2 billion dollars. Profits also increased significantly - by a whopping 140 percent to $ 1.7 billion. Netflix should therefore like the financial sector better than the pure subscription numbers.

Source: Netflix

Netflix's CEO says he isn't worried about streaming competition - but traditional TV and YouTube could be threats

Reed Hastings wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters © Provided by Business Insider Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters
  • Netflix's Reed Hastings said traditional TV and YouTube are the largest competitors in viewing time.
  • The company downplayed competition in the streaming market when it reported Q1 earnings.
  • Netflix missed its Q1 subscriber growth target and said it did not believe it was because of rivals.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.
  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company isn't seeing much of a threat from streaming rivals - but in terms of viewing time, traditional TV and YouTube are its largest competitors.


    Hastings made the comment during the streaming giant's first-quarter earnings call with investors, in which Hastings downplayed the threat that rivals like Disney pose to Netflix.

    'Our largest competitor for TV viewing time is linear TV,' he said, referring to traditional scheduled television programming. 'Our second largest is YouTube, which is considerably larger than Netflix in viewing time. And Disney is considerably smaller - we're sort of in the middle of the pack.'

    Hastings also said that 'there's no real change that we can detect in the competitive environment.'

    The streaming market saw a boom in 2020 as people were driven into their homes and turned to entertainment online. Netflix, long the power-player in the industry, saw increased competition from Disney Plus, HBO Max, Amazon's Prime Video, and others.

    Read more: Netflix cancellations fell to their lowest level in 2 years during Q1, exclusive web-tracking data suggests

    In its Tuesday shareholder letter, Netflix said it did not believe that competing streaming platforms played a role in the company's Q1 results. Netflix said it added 4 million new paid memberships in the first quarter, compared to analyst estimates of 6 million.

    That dip in membership growth, Netflix said, is in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 'lighter content slate in the first half of this year' because of social distancing-driven production delays. Original Netflix programs specifically have fallen by 20% since this time last year.

    But Netflix said in its shareholder letter on Tuesday that it expects paid membership growth to 're-accelerate' in the second half of 2021 'with the return of new seasons of some of our biggest hits and an exciting film lineup,' including 'a large number of returning franchises.' It said it will spend over $17 billion on content this year as long as vaccine distribution continues to be successful and production can return to normal.