Video streaming service Netflix attracted 15.8 million new subscribers in the first quarter. As a result, the total number of paying customers of the American company rose by 9.4 percent in the first three months to just under 183 million.
Netflix has never seen the number of users grow as fast as during the corona crisis in which many people are obliged to be at home. The company’s sales and profits also increased.
Netflix attracted 2.3 million new customers in the home market of the United States and Canada. That was more than the past three quarters combined.
Nearly 7 million subscribers were added from January to March in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company also managed to retain new customers in Latin America (2.9 million) and Asia and Oceania (3.6 million). Subscribers also watched the service for an average of more hours.
Netflix expects membership growth and viewing time to decrease as the corona measures relax in several countries, but finds it hard to predict when that will be. The company scored well with series such as Tiger King, which watched 64 million subscribers, and the new season of the Ozark series (30 million viewers).
For next quarter, Netflix expects a lot from the new season of, among others, the Spanish series La Casa de Papel and the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance.
Netflix also suffers from corona measures. The filming of many productions has stopped, which may result in fewer new series and films later in the year. The company also had to significantly increase the number of customer service employees due to the more significant than expected customer growth.
Because the dollar was relatively expensive, sales and profits rose less rapidly than the number of subscribers. Revenue was $ 5.8 billion, down from $ 4.5 billion in the first quarter of last year. Below the line, $ 709 million remained. That was $ 344 million a year earlier.