Netflix’s subscribers surge after password-sharing crackdown

Streaming giant says it added nearly 6 million customers after restricting the sharing of accounts between households.

Netflix has added nearly 6 million new subscribers after cracking down on password sharing [File: Richard Drew/AP Photo]

Netflix has announced the addition of nearly six million new subscribers following its crackdown on password sharing.

In an earnings release on Wednesday, the streaming giant said it ended the last quarter with about 238 million subscribers, up 5.9 million since the company began restricting the sharing of accounts to a single household.

Netflix said profit in the April-June quarter came in at $1.5bn, with expectations that revenues will accelerate in the second half of this year.

Both figures marked an improvement in Netflix’s fortunes compared with the first quarter, when the entertainment company reported 1.75 million new subscribers and a profit of $1.31bn. Revenue, however, fell short of expectations, with sales hitting $8.2 bn.

“While we’ve made steady progress this year, we have more work to do to reaccelerate our growth,” the company said in a quarterly letter to shareholders.

Netflix is battling to regain market share after losing nearly 1.2 million subscribers in the first six months of 2022, the first decline in a decade, after a viewership boom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Netflix is also grappling with the fallout of the Hollywood actors and writers’ strike. The first industry-wide walkout in six decades has shut down numerous television and film productions, although Netflix has an advantage over many other entertainment companies as it makes much of its content overseas.

In November, Netflix announced the launch of a cheaper subscription service that includes advertisements as part of its effort to find new revenue sources amid intensifying competition among streaming services.

Netflix said in its earnings release that it would phase out its cheapest advertisement-free plan, in an apparent effort to encourage people to switch to pricier plans or plans that include advertisements.

Investors on Wednesday signalled unease with Netflix’s outlook despite its growing subscriber base, with the streaming giant’s shares falling 8 percent.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies