Netflix targets older audiences as subscriber numbers plummet

·2-min read

Netflix is expected to report a significant drop in its subscribers tomorrow (July 20), when it reveals its second quarter results to shareholders.

The streaming giant looks set to report its lowest number of subscribers in over a decade, adding just one million new subscribers to its service.

This is the lowest number of new subscribers since 2011, when the company was still sending out postal DVDs alongside its early streaming options.

In the first quarter, Netflix added four million new subscribers, which was two million fewer than their original estimate of six million. Last year, however, the group had a record increase when over 37 million new subscribers increased its global user base to over 200 million at the height of the pandemic.

Now, bosses are hoping to reverse the downward subscriber trend by targeting older audience viewers in the over-55 age group.

This coincides with new figures which reveal that 55to 64-year-olds have become more tech-savvy out of necessity during the pandemic. In this age group, subscribers to Netflix have already increased from 38 per cent to 50 per cent. Many believe that Netflix’s move to making more crime dramas and documentaries could be a move to appeal to this age group more.

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix blamed production slowdowns for the decrease. Bosses wrote: “The extraordinary events of Covid-19 led to unprecedented membership growth in 2020, as it pulled forward growth from 2021, and delayed production across every region.”

“As we discussed in past letters, these dynamics are also contributing to a lighter content slate in the first half of 2021, and hence, we believe slower membership growth.”

Back in April, founder Reed Hastings said: “It’s just a little wobbly right now” as the company saw a £14.5bn fall in their share price.

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