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Netflix posts revenue rise for Q3, unveils change in viewership reporting

A positive third quarter for Netflix saw the company grow its revenue 16% year over year to US$7.5 billion, the company reported in its Q3 financial report on Tuesday (Oct. ...
October 20, 2021

A positive third quarter for Netflix saw the company grow its revenue 16% year over year to US$7.5 billion, the company reported in its Q3 financial report on Tuesday (Oct. 19).

Netflix attributed this uptick in revenue to the stronger slate of titles the streamer boasted in the second half of this year, after COVID-19 production delays led to a lighter-than-normal content slate in Q1 and Q2. The streaming service also added 4.38 million paid memberships, nearly double what the company recorded in Q3 of last year, which means Netflix ended this quarter with 214 million total paid memberships.

After the company’s paid membership additions jumped in this quarter, Netflix is forecasting another leap heading into Q4, expecting 8.5 million new paid memberships.

The $7.5 billion in revenue Netflix took in this quarter was up from the $7.3 billion it totaled in Q2 earlier this year and the $6.4 billion it recorded in Q3 of last year. The company’s revenue growth was driven by increases in average paid streaming memberships and average revenue per membership.

The Asia-Pacific region was the largest contributor to subscriber growth for the second quarter in a row, the company reported, while other regions grew more slowly, with the U.S. and Canada reporting the lowest subscriber growth numbers for the quarter.

Netflix’s Q3 report also signaled a shift in how it reports viewership. Later this year, the company will report on hours viewed for its titles instead of the number of accounts that have chosen to watch a series or film.

“We think engagement as measured by hours viewed is a slightly better indicator of the overall success of our titles and member satisfaction. It also matches how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching,” Netflix’s letter to its shareholders on its Q3 earnings read. “In addition, we will start to release title metrics more regularly outside of our earnings report so our members and the industry can better measure success in the streaming world.”

The company also reported that, assuming no new COVID-19 waves or unforeseen events will result in large-scale production shutdowns, it expects to boast a more normalized content slate next year with a larger number of original titles and a more balanced release schedule throughout the year, compared to 2021.

(Image: Unsplash)

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