Netflix released its balance sheet for the third quarter of 2019 on Thursday (17). It indicates that the company gained almost 6.8 million subscribers worldwide in the period, but did not reach its projection of 7 million.
The goal was not achieved by the below-expected growth in the United States. Netflix believed it was possible to get 800,000 new subscribers in the country, but stopped at 520,000. In the rest of the world, the expectation was 6 million new subscribers, but the result reached 6.26 million.
The accumulated for the first nine months of the year indicates a slower growth rate in the USA compared to 2018. Between January and September, the company gained 2.1 million subscribers in the country, while in the same period last year, there were 4 , 1 million new users.
Netflix suggests that the slowdown is due to the price hike in the service. “Since our price increase in the US earlier this year, retention has not yet fully returned on a sustained basis to pre-price change levels, which has led to slower US subscription growth,” the company said.
With the latest results, Netflix reaches 158 million subscribers worldwide. The company expects to get 7.6 million new users between October and December, which would end 2019 with 26.7 million more subscribers.
In the third quarter, Netflix’s revenue grew 31% and stood at US $ 5.24 billion (R $ 21.6 billion), a result close to the projection of US $ 5.25 billion. Operating profit for the period was US $ 980 million (R $ 4 billion), above the projection of US $ 833 million.
In a statement, the company addressed the concern about the so-called “streaming war”, due to launches such as Disney + and Apple TV +. The company preferred to reassure investors and recalled that it has been competing with services like Amazon, YouTube and Hulu for over a decade.
“The arrival of services like Disney +, Apple TV +, HBO Max and Peacock increases competition, but we are all small compared to linear TV,” says Netflix. “Although the new competitors have great titles (especially catalog titles), none have the variety, diversity and quality of the new original programming that we are producing worldwide.”
The company also highlighted some audience data for its productions. The third season of Stranger Things, for example, became the most popular in the series after being watched by 64 million users in the first four weeks after its release
The series Unbelievable, in turn, was watched by 32 million users, while the film Crush Up was watched by 41 million users. The series Tuning had no figures revealed, but it became the second most watched in Brazil in an inaugural season.