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Netflix subscribers surge amid password crackdown

Lungile Msomi
By Lungile Msomi, ITWeb journalist
Johannesburg, 19 Oct 2023
Netflix’s subscribers increased 9% year-on-year.
Netflix’s subscribers increased 9% year-on-year.

Streaming service Netflix has seen growth in subscribers, despite introducing a price increase and cracking down on password sharing.

According to the platform’s third quarter results, subscriber numbers increased by 9% year-on-year, equating to 8.8 million paid net additions.

The streaming service also saw a revenue increase of 8% to $8.54 billion, which was slightly above the number Netflix predicted in Q2.

It attributes the subscriber and revenue growth to the introduction of paid sharing, steady programming and the ongoing expansion of streaming globally.

“In addition to building engagement by creating movies and series that members will love, we’re focused on improving monetisation through a combination of paid sharing, scaling our ads business and increased sophistication around our pricing and plans,” says Netflix.

It notes the strong performance shows the streaming platform is growing despite the labour tensions in Hollywood as a result of the Writers Guild of America strike.

Earlier this year, Netflix discontinued password sharing in South Africa and additional markets, turning service borrower household accounts into fully paying memberships.

Even with this crackdown, the company added nearly four million subscribers in its Europe, Middle East and Africa market. More than 70% of its members now reside outside of the US.

Looking ahead, the company says its priority is building its ad membership, aiming to make Netflix an essential buy for advertisers.

In Q3, ads membership on the platform increased nearly 70% quarter-over-quarter and now accounts for 30% of all new sign-ups in ad-enabled countries.

According to a report by analytics firm Parrot Analytics, there has been a 248% increase in the global supply of streaming of original titles in this time period, as leading companies have prioritised direct to consumer platforms and chased Netflix’s business model.

Parrot further explains that Netflix’s supply share of global streaming original titles has steadily ticked down since 2020, as new competitors entered the field, falling from 33.1% in Q1 2020 to 25.3% in Q3 2023.

“Demand for original content drives subscription growth, but library content is key for customer retention, an increasingly crucial element of all streaming strategies as consumers have more choice and easier ways to cancel than ever,” it says.