With people locked up in their homes as a consequence of the lockdown measures implemented by governments globally to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the number of new subscribers of Netflix has more than doubled compared to what the company had expected in just the last three months.
About 15.77 million new paid subscribers were added globally, the streaming giant announced, which was way more that what the company had expected at about 7 million. With millions of families being stuck at home and millions of office goers working from home, more people became paid users of streaming services such as Netflix to keep themselves and their families entertained.
There was huge increase in the viewership for the hit shows of the services because of the boom in its membership. Netflix’s Tiger King documentary was watched globally by more than About 64 million subscribers while people stayed back at home because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Netflix’s original film Spenser Confidential was watched by 85 million people while 30 million subscribers in the last three months watched the reality show Love Is Blind of the service.
The huge increase in membership and audience was potentially temporary in nature, the company acknowledged.
“In our 20+ year history, we have never seen a future more uncertain or unsettling. The coronavirus has reached every corner of the world and, in the absence of a widespread treatment or vaccine, no one knows how or when this terrible crisis will end,” the company said in a statement.
“At Netflix, we’re acutely aware that we are fortunate to have a service that is even more meaningful to people confined at home, and which we can operate remotely with minimal disruption in the short to medium term. Like other home entertainment services, we’re seeing temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth.”
It was yet not clear what the long term impact of the coronavirus pandemic will by on the business of Netflix, said Mihir Haria Shah, head of broadcast at Total Media.
“There is no doubt that Netflix has been helped by the viral sensation that is Tiger King and also new seasons of Narcos Mexico, Ozark and Money Heist – which are all Netflix originals favourites. The challenge in continuing to grow and also preventing churn is likely to be how long they can sustain dripping in new series with production studios shut for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Since March 13, shooting for its original content has been shut down by Netflix just like many other studios and networks. A $100m fund for workers whose jobs have been directly affected has been set up by the streaming service company. There has been a number of large acquisitions in recent weeks which include the Paramount action comedy The Lovebirds and Enola Holmes, with Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown as the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes.
“While we’re certainly impacted by the global production pause, we expect to continue to be able to provide a terrific variety of new titles throughout 2020 and 2021,” the statement said.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)