Netflix to stop reporting sub numbers as profits surge

Source: Netflix

Netflix profits surged in Q1 of 2024 as new customers flocked to the streamer, which has said it will stop revealing paid subscriber numbers from 2025.

The Greg Peters-led company added 9.3 million subscribers in the three months to 31 March, taking it to a global total of 269.6 million.

That pushed The Gentleman streamer’s revenue up by 15% to $9.4bn, with net income rising beyond most analysts’ expectations by 79% to $2.3bn.

The news did not stop Netflix’s shares dropping by 0.5% in after hours trading, but the streamer has already seen its share price rise from $468 at the start of January to $611 yesterday.

In a note to investors, Netflix admitted it had got “off to a good start in 2024” and added that it would “need many great stories that appeal to lots of different tastes” across series, films and games.

It said “must-watch live programming” remained a key focus along with sports, such as the upcoming boxing bout between Mike Tyson and YouTube star Jake Paul.

The company is maintaining its planned $17bn spend on content in 2024 and pointed to having secured an 8.1% audience share of streamed TV viewing in March this year.

There are also plans to “innovate” its product and marketing to improve discoverability, while also expanding its still-nascent advertising operation “to become a more meaningful contributor to our business in 2025 and beyond”.

The streamer said high-performing titles across Q1 included Griselda, which secured 66.4m views (total viewing time divided by length of the show).

33 Body Problem secured 39.7m views, while Avatar: The Last Airbender claimed 63.8m views and reality series Love Is Blind S6 secured 20m views.

True crime shows American Nightmare pulled in 50.2m views, while UK content was highlighted by the streamer, with shows such as Fool Me Once (98.2m views), The Gentlemen (61m views) and One Day (36m views).

Korean and Spanish shows also performed highly, replicating previous performances, with A Killer Paradox claiming 13.6m views and Berlin S1 securing 56.7m views.

The streamer said it would stop reporting quarterly membership numbers in Q12 next year, having turned its attention to “revenue and operating margin as our primary financial metrics and engagement.”

It added that with “very substantial profit and free cash flow” now established, in addition to “developing new revenue streams like advertising and our extra member feature,” the number of memberships had become “just one component of our growth.”

It added: “In addition, as we’ve evolved our pricing and plans from a single to multiple tiers with different price points depending on the country, each incremental paid membership has a very different business impact.”

Netflix will continue to provide a breakout of revenue by region each quarter.

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