HomeEntertainmentNetflix Falls Short of Subscriber Total Goal, Blames 2020 Production Delays

Netflix Falls Short of Subscriber Total Goal, Blames 2020 Production Delays

by Will Shepard
(Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Netflix has been up and down in the past four business quarters. Over 2020, the streaming giant gained almost 40 million subscribers. Even though this kind of growth is unattainable yearly, it certainly reflected the times.

As the first business quarter of 2021 drew to a close, Netflix got their subscriber reports. The company boasted nearly 208 million subscribers at the end of March.

From January through March, nearly 4 million people joined the site as subscribers. But, the company had projected that 6.25 million people would join. Now, the company says that for the second quarter, they are estimating roughly a million new subscribers.

Netflix Struggled to Gain New Subscribers in Quarter One of 2021

Netflix said that they attribute the few subscribers to the confusion of the pandemic. The company noted that because of COVID, production on TV shows and movies was drastically slower. Additionally, they said that people’s behavior was much harder to predict. Nonetheless, it hurt the company and its subscriber quota.

As a result of the company’s inability to source its predicted users in quarter one, the stock plummeted. Shares of Netflix sank 11 percent over the first quarter of 2021. Over the course of 2020, the stock had risen 27 percent. The company wrote an open letter about its subscriber numbers.

“We believe paid membership growth slowed due to the big Covid-19 pull forward in 2020 and a lighter content slate in the first half of this year, due to Covid-19 production delays.” The streaming giant continued, addressing its shareholders. “We continue to anticipate a strong second half with the return of new seasons of some of our biggest hits and an exciting film lineup.”

Even though Netflix did mention that there is still “some uncertainty” about how long the effects of the pandemic will linger, they are hopeful it is just short-term. They also note that their long-term trends are still intact.

Despite stock prices falling and not hitting subscriber goals, the company profited. Netflix beat its financial targets for the quarter. The streaming giant brought in $7.16 billion, which far surpassed all experts’ predictions.

So, now only time will tell what happens to Netflix. Perhaps the pandemic will lessen its grip on the population and inspire a new, unpredictable trend. Nonetheless, the streaming giant is hopeful that the rest of 2021 will favor their subscriber numbers.