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Netflix subs growth ‘will keep slowing’

Netflix added fewer subscribers than predicted between July and September and has warned the slowdown in subscription rates could continue in 2021.

JJ Perry

The streamer, which experienced a significant boost earlier this year as countries around the world went into lockdown, added 2.2 million subscribers between the beginning of July and the end of September, just short of the 2.5 million it expected.

Netflix told investors that, as the world hopefully recovers from the pandemic in 2021, it expects its growth to revert back to levels similar to those seen pre-Covid, while it predicted it will add six million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“In turn, we expect paid net adds are likely to be down year over year in the first half of 2021 as compared with the big spike in paid net adds we experienced in the first half of 2020,” the streamer said.

“We continue to view quarter-to-quarter fluctuations in paid net adds as not that meaningful in the context of the long run adoption of internet entertainment, which we believe is still early and should provide us with many years of strong future growth as we continue to improve our service.”

Since the near-global shutdown of production in mid March, Netflix said it has already completed principal photography on more than 50 productions and is hopeful it will complete shooting on over 150 other productions by the end of 2020.

Analyst Paolo Pescatore said: “Netflix is on course to exceed 200m by year end. Another milestone for the company and firmly remains the benchmark for rivals who have all restructured their operations with a greater focus on streaming.

“As the company has prospered due to the pandemic, next year looks set to be somewhat challenging. As next round of lockdown measures ease up (and the arrival of a potential vaccine), users will eventually be itching to get out and return back to some form of normality. This coupled with stiff competition from traditional players will inevitably lead to subs losses and overall usage to decline.”

In related news, Netflix has linked up with Fast & Furious 9 and John Wick stunt coordinator JJ Perry for his directorial debut, Day Shift, which will star Jamie Foxx as a vampire hunter who has a day job as a pool cleaner and an eight-year-old daughter.

Chad Stahelski and Jason Spitz of 87Eleven Entertainment and Shaun Redick and Yvette Yates Redick of Impossible Dream Entertainment will produce the feature, which is written by Tyler Tice with current revisions by Shay Hatten.

Foxx, who executive produces alongside Datari Turner and Peter Baxter, is already working with Netflix on Project Power, They Cloned Tyrone and the original series Dad Stop Embarrassing Me.

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