Entertainment TV Is Netflix falling out of favour? US viewers are shunning the streaming platform

Is Netflix falling out of favour? US viewers are shunning the streaming platform

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Netflix has weathered its first subscriber drop in the US in eight years. Photo: Cntraveler
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Netflix has posted its first drop in US subscribers in eight years, but in Australia the subscription streaming service continues to increase its customer base.

As the company announced its second-quarter results – losing 130,000 subscribers rather than gaining its predicted 300,000 – its shares fell by more than 12 per cent in Wall Street after-hours trade.

Netflix’s price rise in the US – from $US10.99 to $US12.99 a month – could be to blame for the less-than-desirable results.

At last count, Australia isn’t set to cop the latest round of price rises, but customers in the UK, Spain, Germany and France are in for a hike.

“Our missed forecast was across all regions, but slightly more so in regions with price increases,” the company said in announcing results.

Oprah Winfrey was part of Apple’s game-changing launch earlier this year, where the new streaming service was flagged. Photo: Getty

Some commentators have pointed to increased competition as a reason for the drop in US numbers – Disney and Apple will launch on-demand services in the coming months overseas.

It gets worse for the ‘Flix: WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal also have services in the pipeline, due to launch next year, taking with them popular binge-shows Friends and The Office respectively.

This is in addition to Marvel slowly drip-feeding out its content, in preparation to load into Disney’s streaming funnel.

In total, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said, the four newcomers account for up to 65 per cent of Netflix’s content.

“[W]e expect the migration of third-party content to be relatively slow,” Mr Pachter said last week, AAP reported.

However, “it is unclear whether Netflix can replace it with quantity and quality sufficient to keep its current subscriber base loyal.”

Hey Netflix, we still love you

The latest results in Australia, released by Roy Morgan earlier this year, indicate Aussie viewers are still jumping aboard the Netflix express.

As of February, the company has 11 million paid subscriptions in Australia, a year-to-year growth of 25.2 per cent.

The growth would be solidifying the company’s decision to continue to invest Down Under.

Last month, it was announced Netflix would be opening an Australian headquarters by the end of 2019, comprised of about 10 employees.

Stranger Things trailer
Stranger Things, along with Orange is the New Black is one of Netflix’s most popular shows, as voted by viewers. Photo: Netflix

We’ll bounce back

Netflix was quick to say it expects its subscriber dip to last but a moment, with strong projections for the third quarter, flanked by strong content coming online.

It listed the third season of Stranger Things, and the final season of Orange is the New Black as big drawcards for the platform.

AAP reported it is also banking on season three of Ozark, Jerry Seinfield’s Comedians in Cars Getting CoffeeThe Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and a host of comedy specials from professional funny people such as Aziz Ansari and Katherine Ryan.

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