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Netflix rebound knocks Disney off perch

Netflix has recovered from recent subscriber losses to surpass Disney+ and reclaim the title of world’s largest video streaming service.

October 19, 2022
By Michael Leiedtke
19 October 2022

Netflix has reversed its recent subscriber losses with a US summertime gain, ahead of its launch a cheaper version of the video streaming service that will include ads for the first time.

It picked up 2.4 million subscribers during the July-September period, the US firm said on Tuesday, marking a comeback from a loss of 1.2 million customers during the first half of the year amid stiffer competition and soaring inflation that is squeezing household budgets.

Netflix now boasts 223 million subscribers, enabling the company to at least temporarily reclaim the mantle as the world’s largest video streaming service.

Disney+ eclipsed Netflix in August when it reported its service had 221 million subscribers, a number that will be updated on November 8 when Disney is scheduled to report its summertime results.

“After a challenging first half, we believe we’re on a path to re-accelerate growth,” Netflix predicted in a shareholder letter accompanying the third-quarter results.

The surge in subscribers also helped Netflix earn $US1.4 billion ($A2.2 billion), or $US3.10 a share, a four per cent dip from the same time last year.

Revenue climbed six per cent from last year to $US7.93b.

The subscriber gains, earnings per share and revenue all topped analyst projections compiled by FactSet.

Netflix’s shares surged more than 14 per cent after the latest numbers came out.

Even so, the stock has still lost more than half its value so far this year, reflecting worries that Netflix’s best days have past.

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