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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Netflix's empire growing faster internationally

That’s a long way of saying that Netflix likely isn’t going to get much more popular in the US over the coming years. But knowing that, it’s heading abroad with the hopes of beating out its biggest competitors — including Disney Plus — by rapidly gaining subscribers in large markets.
Top analysts expect Netflix to continue growing at a solid pace, thanks to this strategy, and they are raising their estimates as a result. Additional proof came in the form of Netflix’s stock surging to a 52-week high earlier this week. Analyst Michael Nathanson announced in a research note that his firm is raising Netflix’s total subscriber estimate by 10 percent for 2024, driven by “an increase in international subs.”
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Netflix’s US growth has already started to drop precipitously. Between 2018 and 2019, Netflix saw a 55 percent decrease in net adds, only bringing in 2.6 million subscribers. Not to get it twisted: 2.6 million subscribers is still great. That’s more than 20 percent of HBO Now’s total US subscriber base and nearly 10 percent of Hulu’s entire customer base. It’s just not quite the numbers that Netflix is used to seeing.
A slowdown in the United States makes sense: people who want Netflix probably already have Netflix. Fewer people are discovering the service for the first time, and there’s now an abundance of alternatives to subscribe to.
The goal, according to Erik Barmack, Netflix’s vice president for international originals, is to “tap into new international audiences while also appealing to American Netflix viewers,” according to a 2017 New York Times article. To go back to our earlier metaphor, it’s like Netflix is hanging out with its new pals abroad while FaceTiming its friends back home, introducing them to one another, and hoping they hit it off. It’s why you’re likely seeing way more international programming, both scripted and not, on your homepage.
Disney, which just launched Disney Plus in November 2019, will have to spend time generating more series and films in specific regions to catch up and meet the quotas following its rollout in parts of Europe next month. The same goes for Hulu once it expands internationally in 2021.

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