Soaring Netflix beats forecasts as subscriber numbers jump

San Francisco (AFP) –


Netflix reported Tuesday that it gained 4.4 million more subscribers in the recently ended quarter, topping revenue and profit forecasts as hits like Squid Games draw masses of viewers.

Analysts had been worried that a surge in Netflix subscriptions due to people being stuck at home during the pandemic would result in a plunge in new memberships as restrictions on moving about eased due to vaccines.

But, the streaming entertainment star said it made a profit of $1.45 billion on revenue that grew 16 percent to $7.5 billion in the quarter.

Netflix ended the quarter with 214 million subscribers.

After rolling out a lighter-than-normal slate of content in the first half of this year due to Covid-related production delays, Netflix was seeing positive effects of launching fresh shows in the last quarter, executives said in an earnings letter to shareholders.

"We're very excited to finish the year with what we expect to be our strongest Q4 content offering yet," Netflix said in the letter.

"Our programming strategy is to provide members with a wide variety of high quality content that's loved and watched in large numbers."

New seasons of original Netflix series Money Heist and Sex Education were the biggest returning shows, viewed by 69 million and 55 million households respectively, according to the Silicon Valley powerhouse.

Squid Game became Netflix's biggest show ever, watched by a "mind-boggling" 142 households in the four weeks after its release in mid-September, executives said.

They described Squid Games as "a unique Korean story that first captured the zeitgeist in Korea and then globally."

"The breadth of Squid Game's popularity is truly amazing; this show has been ranked as our #1 program in 94 countries," Netflix said.

"Squid Game has also pierced the cultural zeitgeist, spawning a Saturday Night Live skit and memes/clips on TikTok with more than 42 billion views."

Squid Game themed products were on their way to retail outlets, Netflix told investors.

Most of the subscriber growth in the quarter came from the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for 2.2 million added Netflix members.