Coronavirus Lockdowns Result In 16 Million New Subscribers For Netflix
The global coronavirus pandemic has meant a loss of business for a number of industries and enterprises, but streaming companies like Netflix have seen the pandemic give their bottom line a boost.
Variety reports that streaming giant Netflix has been able to add an additional 15.77 million additional paid subscribers at the end of the first quarter. This dwarfs Netflix’s own prediction of 7 million new subscribers. With these new subscribers, Netflix can now boast of a global base of 187 million paid subscribers.
According to Netflix, this 22.8 percent increase from last year is due to the home confinement brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
The first quarter of the year also saw Netflix’s revenue come in at $5.77 billion, with net income at $709 million. Netflix shares also ended higher by one percent, although throughout the day shares had been as high up as 4.8 percent.
However, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was quick to temper any optimism the company’s shareholders were feeling about the company’s numbers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hastings emphasized that the future was still unclear and unsettling and that this growth in viewership and membership is likely temporary. New second quarter memberships will probably be around 7.5 million, according to Hastings.
The CEO also revealed the negative impact the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has had on the company. Because of lockdown orders, production on a number of its movies and shows have been put on hold. Meanwhile, work-from-home arrangements have made it possible to continue the company’s animation projects.
Beyond the streaming company, the global spread of COVID-19 has hit the film and entertainment industry hard. Because of moviehouse closures brought about by the coronavirus-induced lockdowns, the North American box office suffered a $600 million deficit during the month of March. A $5 billion loss is also expected for the global film industry because huge markets like South Korea and Japan have also had to close cinemas.
It also does not look like the situation is going to improve soon, as globally COVID-19 infections continue to rise. According to the Apr. 21 situation report provided by the World Health Organization, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world is now at 2,397,216 people. The number of deaths caused by the disease is 162,956 people.
In the United States, the Apr. 21 update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the number of total cases at 776,093. Fatalities caused by COVID-19 is now at 41,758 people.