Wall Street pins hopes on a set of upbeat results from Netflix

Netflix has added more than 9m subscribers in the first three months of 2024 in its best start to a year since the beginning of Covid lockdowns.

The US streaming giant said 9.33million paying customers joined its platform between January and March, taking the total to almost 270million around the world.

The increase was nearly double the 5million subscribers analysts had forecast and marked its best first quarter since it added 15.77million subscribers in 2020.

But Netflix said it will stop reporting its quarterly membership numbers from next year. ‘We’re off to a good start in 2024,’ the company said.

The California firm enjoyed a 14.8 per cent rise in revenues in the first quarter. 

Recent hits for Netflix include Scoop starring Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell (both pictured)

Recent hits for Netflix include Scoop starring Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell, as well as Billie Piper, a film based on how Newsnight secured Prince Andrew’s infamous 2019 interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Netflix boomed during Covid lockdowns as families stuck at home signed up to streaming services.

But it lost more than a million subscribers in the first half of 2022, sparking fears of a prolonged decline.

The shares lost more than 75 per cent of their value in late 2021 and early 2022. Since then, the stock has almost trebled, though it is some way off those 2021 highs.

Subscribers have also flocked back to the platform despite a crackdown on password sharing.

Netflix rival Disney said it will also tighten its policy from June, with analysts estimating there may be around 46m password ‘sharers’.

Chief executive Bob Iger this month said Netflix is ‘the gold standard in streaming’ and that if Disney ‘can only accomplish what they’ve accomplished that would be great’.

Sophie Lund-Yates, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘Netflix’s subscriber growth has shot the lights out once more despite stiff competition and sticky inflationary pressures.

‘The bigger question now will be how Netflix continues to keep churn to a minimum, when rivals catch up with their own cheaper plans.’

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