Streaming services lack Americans


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Netflix’s hit series Squid game – a phenomenon that inspired thousands Halloween costume, Walmart storage T-shirts with his logo and $ 3.4 million cryptocurrency swindle – has taken hold of the times as few shows ever do.

It also only led to few new subscribers in the United States and Canada, where Netflix added just 70,000 new customers in the third quarter. And this week, data released by the streaming site’s competitors shows that these struggles are as contagious as the cultural phenomenon.

Americans currently have more than 100 streaming services to choose from. You can register for Vuele, which sells movies like NFT, or Brown sugar, which focuses on 70s blaxploitation films like Tree.

All this saturation has caused streaming services to spend tens of billions to create thousands of hours of content – Netflix alone will spend $ 17 billion on programming in 2021 – in hopes of attracting enough eyeballs. to keep Wall Street happy. But it doesn’t work like it used to:

  • Netflix added a paltry 88,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada in 2021 – up from 6 million new subscribers last year and 3 million in 2019 – more or less stagnant at 74 million.
  • This week, Disney + said it added just 2 million subscribers worldwide in the third quarter, a steep drop from the 12 million, 9 million and 21 million in the previous three quarters. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max added just 570,000 Americans in the third quarter, up from 2.4 million and 2.8 million in the previous two.

America first: US subscribers are extremely important for one simple reason: they pay more. Half of Netflix’s 4.4 million new subscribers in the third quarter were in Asia, where people pay an average of $ 9.60 per month. Americans pay $ 14.68. At Disney +, the average subscriber pays just $ 4.12 per month – a number reduced by the tens of millions of discounts offered through the Disney Hotstar-branded service in India.

The bottom line: The streaming wars are starting to hurt returns. ViacomCBS said last week that its streaming spending will increase by $ 350 million this quarter, which analysts at MoffettNathanson said will cut the company’s profits by 40% year-on-year.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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