Netflix subscribers shoot up by nearly 6m but revenue lulls

20 Jul 2023

Image: © natanaelginting/

For subscribers in the US and UK, Netflix has axed its basic no-ads plan in favour of the more expensive standard plan.

Netflix finds itself in a very different place to where it was on this day a year ago (20 July). The streaming giant, which reported its largest ever quarterly loss of subscribers in the second quarter of last year, has just announced it gained nearly 6m new subscribers globally this time around.

This brings the total number of people subscribed to Netflix to 238.4m, a rise that far exceeded analysts’ expectations. Part of this can be attributed to the global rollout of its paid sharing rules that it first devised after last year’s plight.

In May, the company launched paid sharing in more than 100 countries, including Ireland, representing more than 80pc of its revenue base. It claims the move has boosted its revenue and sign-ups in all regions, and paid sharing will now be rolled out to the remaining countries.

On the overall revenue front, however, Netflix disappointed Wall Street.

Second quarter revenue stood at $8.2bn and operating profit was $1.8bn, which Netflix says were “generally in-line with our forecast”. But Reuters reports that this figure fell short of analysts’ expectations, leading shares to tumble in after-hours trading.

“While we’ve made steady progress this year, we have more work to do to reaccelerate our growth,” Netflix wrote in a letter to its shareholders. “We remain focused on creating a steady drumbeat of must-watch shows and movies, improving monetisation, growing the enjoyment of our games and investing to improve our service for members.”

The streaming giant now expects its revenue to continue to grow and is confident about its third quarter performance, which it hopes will stem from growth in average paid memberships following its ongoing paid sharing roll-out.

Netflix also announced yesterday that it has dropped its basic plan in the US and the UK, which means that new subscribers can no longer pay $9.99 or £6.99 per month for Netflix without ads. Instead, subscribers in these countries must pay $15.99 or £10.99 for the standard plan.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic