A popular joke among people who consider themselves pandemic lockdown hostages is that they have now watched everything on Netflix.
Wednesday’s stock performance, due in large part to a downturn in business, perhaps reflects a form of Netflix fatigue.
Third-quarter Netflix earnings showed an addition of only 2.2 million new subscribers, short of the 2.5 million predicted by the company. Wall Street analysts were expecting the streamer to add around 3.6 million subscribers during the period, per Goldman Sachs.
The shortfall helped cause a 6%-plus shedding of Netflix stock, with the shares trading at $490 as of 11 a.m. PT.
While the numbers are mildly troubling when viewed in a vacuum, Netflix was among the big winners earlier this year as consumers flocked to the streaming service at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The subscriber base shot up by 26.7 million during the first six months of the year, and through the first nine months of 2020 Netflix attracted more new subscribers than it did in all of 2019.
“The state of the pandemic and its impact continues to make projections very uncertain, but as the world hopefully recovers in 2021, we would expect that our growth will revert back to levels similar to pre-COVID,” the company said in a preview of next year’s results. “In turn, we expect paid net adds are likely to be down year over year in the first half of 2021 as compared to the big spike in paid net adds we experienced in the first half of 2020.”
While the entertainment industry shut down production for much of the spring and summer, Netflix said it has completed principal photography on more than 50 shows since March and expects to complete shooting on more than 150 other productions by the end of the year.