Netflix Doesn’t Want to Talk About Subscriber Numbers

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Netflix continues to add more subscribers to its service, but next year, the company won’t bother telling anyone about it.

Subscriber membership numbers, which is considered a key metric on the success of a streaming service will not be reported on by Netflix starting next year, the company said in its letter to shareholders published on Thursday. Instead, Netflix will focus on engagement saying that the time customers spend on the service is a better indicator of their satisfaction.

This change is surprising as Netflix appeared to start becoming more transparent with its stats. Just last December, Netflix released its first “What We Watched” report that lays out what shows subscribers are watching. Streaming services have been secretive about these viewer number stats, but the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes of last year sought to make these numbers available as part of their negotiations for compensation.

It’s also perplexing that Netflix doesn’t want to announce its subscriber growth because Thursday’s earnings report showed the service added 9.33 million subs for the first fiscal quarter of 2024. This brings Netflix’s global subscriber count to approximately 270 million.

The past year has been a strong year for Netflix overall in both revenue and subscribers. This boom for the streaming service is likely due to the password sharing crackdown that started in early 2023. When the streaming service put its foot down on those giving their password to friends and family, subscriber numbers shot up with the company adding almost 30 million subscriptions in 2023 alone. It also doesn’t hurt that last year Netflix added a lower-priced ad-supported tier to its service costing $7 a month. Those ads are also bringing in even more money to Netflix’s bottom line. 

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