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US: Netflix blames competition for weak growth

 |  January 22, 2020

The emergence of new competitors has started to dent Netflix’s growth in the US. The streaming giant announced it added just 420,000 subscribers in the most recent quarter. According to The Financial Times, it blamed the “low membership growth” on “new competition” as well as its recent decision to raise the price for its streaming service.

Rivals including Walt Disney and Apple are now fighting for streaming customers, and Netflix stated it expects to add 7 million subscribers globally in the first quarter, below analysts’ average of 8.82 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. 

For a company that has historically taken great pains to avoid mentioning competitive forces – it once called the video game Fortnite a bigger rival than other streaming services – it spent a considerable amount of time explaining why Disney’s power will not have as damaging an effect on its engine of growth outside of America. 

“Despite the big debut of Disney+ and the launch of Apple TV+, our viewing per membership grew both globally and in the US on a year over year basis, consistent with recent quarters,” the company wrote in a letter to investors.