Netflix caused a bitter disappointment with its quarterly figures presented on Tuesday after the market closed.

For the first time in more than a decade, the video service reported a drop in its subscriber base, and it predicts another drop in the next quarter.

The share price fell by more than 20 percent in after-hours trading.

Netflix stock has now lost more than half of its value since the beginning of the year.

Roland Lindner

Business correspondent in New York.

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Overall, Netflix reported a 200,000 decrease in its subscriber base to 221.6 million.

The minus is explained by the abandonment of business in Russia, which cost 700 thousand subscribers.

But even without this effect, the figures were disappointing and the number of customers shrank in all regions of the world except Asia.

In its North American home market, for example, the company lost 640,000 subscribers in the past quarter.

Netflix actually announced three months ago that it would add 2.5 million subscribers, and even that was a lot short of what analysts had hoped for.

For the second quarter, the company is now even predicting a loss of 2 million customers.

This is based on the assumption that “current trends will continue”.

This means that there is a risk of at least two consecutive quarters of falling customer numbers.

The last time Netflix lost subscribers was in 2011.

At the time, this had to do with a changed fee model that annoyed many users.

Competition affects your business

Netflix was dissatisfied with its development on Tuesday: "We are not expanding our sales as quickly as we would like," it said in a statement.

The company also admitted it was wrong to think a coronavirus hangover was primarily behind the recent slowdown.

Netflix was growing its subscriber base at a rapid rate early in the pandemic, but growth has slowed significantly over the past year.

Now, the company cites a number of reasons for the disappointing numbers, and one of them is increased competitive pressure.

The competition in the streaming market has become significantly tougher, and a whole range of new offers such as Disney+ and HBO Max have been added in recent years.

Netflix has long been unimpressed by this, but now admits that the increasing competition is also having an impact on its own business.

Netflix attributes the decline in subscriber numbers in North America to a price increase made here.

The company also points to negative macroeconomic factors, such as rising inflation, weighing on the business.

In addition, Netflix is ​​apparently feeling a saturation effect in some regions.

The company said it's already in so many homes today that it's making it harder to grow.

Another challenge is the widespread practice of Netflix customers to share their passwords not only within their own household, but also beyond.

Netflix estimates that beyond its current 222 million subscribers, there are 100 million additional households that get their passwords from paying customers.

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