Netflix saw its subscriber growth slow in the third quarter of 2020 from novel coronavirus-led growth earlier this year, according to its financial results statement released Tuesday.
The world’s largest streaming video subscription service only added just 2.2 million new paid members globally in July-September, down nearly 68% from 6.8 million the same period of last year.
While the company fell short of a target to add 2.5 million new subscribers for the three months ending on Sept. 30, the latest figure also shows a massive slowdown from 10.1 million and 15.7 million new membership additions in the second and first quarters of 2020, respectively.
The sharp decline in new subscribers comes after high growth earlier this year. With coronavirus-related quarantine measures, lockdowns, and movie theaters shutting down, people turned to streaming services around the world in the first half of 2020 more than ever.
“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 firm said in the statement.
Netflix also faced a high number of subscription cancelations in September after controversy erupted over its decision to air a French movie called Cuties, which has received its share of backlash from conservative families across the world for sexualizing minors.
Analytics firm Antenna, which tracks steaming subscription services, reported a fivefold increase in the number of subscription cancelations after Cuties was released on Sept. 9.
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