Netflix’s stock has tumbled 41% from the all-time high it hit just two months ago. It’s gaining subscribers at a painfully slow pace. Competition is heating up.
The company’s answer to all that: It just raised prices on North American customers.
“It looks like they’re hitting maturity,” Michael Nathanson, a media analyst at MoffettNathanson, told CNN Business. “They keep raising their prices, and now in order to maintain a level of subscribers they have, they continually add more and more new content, and content is inherently a hard business to predict with peaks and valleys.”
It wasn’t that long ago that Netflix was a stock darling, but those days now feel like eons ago. The company’s stock peaked just south of $700 in November, but has since dropped to around $400 on Friday.
Netflix ended 2021 with 221.8 million subscribers. That’s significantly more than others in the streaming marketplace, including Disney, one of its closest competitors. Disney had 118.1 million subscribers as of October, and it grew subscriptions 60% between October 2020 and October 2021. During that same period, Netflix grew just 9%.
Disney hasn’t yet reported its financial results for the last three months of 2021. But Netflix’s growth slowed even further in the fourth quarter to just 8%.
Netflix is struggling to find more people to sign up in the markets it has been playing in the longest — particularly the United States — noted Nathanson. The company is going to have to “start aggressively going after growth in developing markets,” such as India and other Asian Pacific countries, to keep moving forward, he added.