Video-on-demand platform Netflix, which has over the years enjoyed seemingly unstoppable growth, has once again been hit by the exit of subscribers in the three months to June 2022.
The US firm said Tuesday it lost about one million subscribers in the second quarter; the highest number in the firm’s history, with the US and Canada home to the highest number of cancellations, followed by Europe.
It is, however, a smaller loss than the two million customers it had projected would cancel their subscription in the same period.
Asked what may have stopped subscriptions sliding further, the firm’s CEO, Reed Hastings, said: “If there was a single thing, we might say ‘Stranger Things.”
Asia-Pacific was the only region where Netflix gained subscribers in the three months to June. Netflix signed up 1.1 million subscribers in the region while shedding 1.3 million in US and Canada and 800,000 in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
In an update to investors on Tuesday, Netflix observed revamping growth would be “a big challenge” but defended its status as “the leader in streaming.”
The company ended the second quarter with 220.7 million subscribers globally, leaving it well ahead of its rivals.
Further, Netflix projected it would gain a million subscribers in the three months to September, a slower turnaround than the 1.8 million sign-ups that analysts had expected.
The new season of the hit drama has been a phenomenal success and may have helped stem the exodus of Netflix customers.
The company reported its first subscriber loss since 2011 in April, this year, a move that was followed by hundreds of job cuts.
Its position as a global king of streaming was cemented when the pandemic hit in 2020 and people, stuck at home with few other options for entertainment, flocked to monster hits such as Squid Game and The Crown.
But as pre-pandemic habits return, Netflix has struggled to attract new sign-ups – and maintain the loyalty of existing members, especially as the cost of living crisis leads to belt-tightening.