Streaming giant Netflix has announced its first-quarter 2022 earnings and it is not good news. Specifically, the company says its lost 200,000 subscribers during the quarter. This represents the first time the platform has lost subscribers in over a decade.

It is easy to argue this is inevitable considering the increasing diverse streaming market. Viewers have a massive choice and simply cannot afford to pay for all services. As individual studios/companies launch their own streaming services, the catch-all model of Netflix was bound to take a hit.

Inevitable maybe, but still a huge problem for the company. For all of its huge success, Netflix does not make huge profits. A downturn in subscribers will hardly appease investors while also cause concerns that this is start of a downward trend.

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Netflix points out it lost 200,000 subscribers due to pulling out of the Russian market and the choice/costs customers face. The company says numbers may continue to fall. However, Netflix also says millions of users abuse the service by sharing their account passwords with family and friends.

Subscriber Count

That is why the company is now taking an aggressive stance against password sharing. Indeed, Netflix estimates around 100 million households abuse their passwords.

“When we were growing fast, it wasn’t a high priority to work on [account sharing]. And now we’re working super hard on it.

Our relatively high household penetration – when including the large number of households sharing accounts – combined with competition, is creating revenue growth headwinds.”

Of course, the last quarter was characterized by the typical growth and loss depending on the market. Some regions saw an increase in subscribers. However, that growth was offset and tipped to negative by losing 600,000 customers in Russia and 700,000 in the U.S. and Canada due to price increases.

Looking ahead, the company predicts a further 2 million subscribers will leave in the next quarter. It is worth noting Netflix still has over 220 total subscribers and revenue actually grew last quarter (up 9.8% to $7.8 billion). However, profits fell 6%.

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