After a record year and 36 million new subscribers in 2020, the world’s most popular video streaming service, Netflix, saw its subscriber growth slow significantly in the first months of 2021.
According to data presented by Buy Shares, Netflix added only 5.5 million subscribers in the first half of 2021, the lowest growth since 2013.
Nearly 80% Less New Subscribers than in H1 2020
Netflix‘s subscriber base has seen impressive growth in recent years. In the third quarter of 2017, the video streaming giant hit more than 100 million subscribers, revealed the Statista data. By the end of 2018, the number of users jumped to nearly 140 million and continued rising. In 2019, around 28 million new subscribers started using Netflix’s services, showing almost the same annual increase as the year before.
Statistics show that 2020 marked the highest year-on-year increase, with 36.6 million users joining Netflix’s subscriber base. Also, last year, the company hit more than 200 million subscribers worldwide.
However, subscriber growth has significantly slowed down since then. Between January and March, around 4 million people started using Netflix’s services. In the three months ended June 30, the streaming giant added just 1.5 million paid subscribers worldwide, marking the lowest quarterly gain since Q2 2013.
According to the company’s latest earnings release, Netflix added 5.5 million subscribers in the first half of 2021, compared to more than 25 million during the same period a year ago. One of the biggest triggers for this 80% YoY decrease was the record-breaking growth in 2020.
The company’s own assessment of the slowdown revealed the COVID-19 created some lumpiness in membership growth and that many of 36.5 million new subscribers in 2020 might otherwise have signed up this year. However, the pandemic-related production delays also played a huge role, resulting in a weakened content slate for the first half of 2021.
With a content line-up skewed towards the second half of the year, Netflix expects to see subscriber growth pick up again, forecasting net additions of 3.5 million for the third quarter of the year.
North America Still the Largest Netflix Market, EMEA Countries Close Behind
In the second quarter of 2021, Netflix had nearly 74 million paying subscribers in the United States and Canada, making North America the company’s largest and the most profitable market. In the three months ended June 30, Netflix’s revenue from the United States and Canada amounted to over $3.2bn, almost 35% more than the EMEA countries as the second-largest market.
However, statistics show the number of users in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa is close to reaching the North American region. As of the second quarter of 2021, the video streaming giant hit 68.7 million subscribers in the EMEA countries, 5.3 million less than in the United States and Canada.
The Asia Pacific remains the smallest market for Netflix but is also the fastest-growing. Previously, the number of subscribers in countries across the region amounted to roughly half of paying customers in Latin America. However, Netflix’s subscriber base in APAC nearly doubled between early 2019 and 2021, reaching almost 28 million in the second quarter of the year.