Netflix is ​​still in shape, but the US downturn is confirmed



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San Francisco (AFP)

With nearly 150 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix continues to attract many new consumers, but especially overseas, a trend that should continue, especially as competition will be strengthened in the United States.

Netflix had at the end of March exactly 148.86 million paid subscribers worldwide (including 88.6 million outside the United States), slightly more than its own expectations, according to quarterly results released on Tuesday.

Of the additional 9.6 million subscribers, 1.74 million are in the United States and 7.86 in the rest of the world, confirming a trend that has already begun, as the platform increasingly depends on securing its growth.

The American group now spends billions of dollars each year on original content – war tendencies to attract consumers – and especially on specific creations for foreign markets, an expensive bet, but it seems to bear fruit.

For the second quarter, Netflix was cautious, anticipating an additional 5 million subscribers, of whom only 300,000 in the United States, where the competition is particularly fierce, with Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or HBO ("Game of Thrones"). Last year, Netflix gained 5.45 million additional subscribers in the second quarter.

And this competition will strengthen considerably by the end of the year. Armed with princesses and superheroes, Disney will launch Disney + in November for $ 6.99 – less expensive than Netflix – in the United States before other parts of the world.

Apple will also enter the dance, but also at WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal.

– Mickey the threat? –

Asked about the arrival of Disney and Apple by an analyst in an internet interview, Netflix boss Reed Hastings said that "big competitors, that makes us better." And it does not fear "significant" effects on its own growth because the streaming market is huge and its catalogs are different.

Earlier this year, the group said the hours spent watching Netflix on its subscriber TVs in the United States still accounted for only 10 percent of total television consumption, suggesting that there would be room for everyone and even more room for Netflix.

In addition, the Californian group said on Tuesday, "we are much smaller and we have more growth margins in other countries and other devices (like TVs, Ed) as mobile devices."

On the audience side, the group said that "Umbrella Academy" was watched by 45 million subscribers in four weeks against 52 million for "Triple Frontier" with Ben Affleck. "The Highwaymen" (with Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson) is expected to reach 40 million, also said Netflix, which gives this type of numbers recently.

Netflix said the recent price increase had only a short-term negative impact in the US, which did not affect the final numbers.

On the financial side, the streaming giant also reported net income of $ 344 million (+ 18.6%). Reported per share – benchmark in North America – profit was 76 cents.

Earnings per share forecast for the second quarter (55 cents) is below analysts' expectations: Netflix stock also fell 0.8% at around 00H05 GMT on Wednesday in electronic trading after Wall Street closed.

At $ 4.52 billion, sales are in line with market expectations.

Geographically, it made $ 2.1 billion in the United States against $ 2.37 billion outside its borders.

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