A scene from “Squid” from Netflix
It may seem like every American you know has seen “Squid Game,” but the show’s popularity has yet to create a wave of new Netflix subscribers in the United States.
142 million Netflix subscribers watched at least two minutes of the hugely popular South Korean drama, Netflix revealed on its show Message to shareholders Tuesday. This represents exactly two-thirds of the company’s 213 million global customers.
But while Netflix gained 4.4 million subscribers in the third quarter, topping analysts’ average estimate of 3.5 million, the growth didn’t come from the United States or Canada. Netflix added just 70,000 users in the region during the quarter.
It has become clear that Netflix’s growth has stalled in the US and Canada. Netflix has added less than a million subscribers in the region in the past twelve months. This is part of the reason why Netflix started getting involved in video games. It will be interesting to see if Netflix will do anything surprising in the coming months to trigger growth in the US and Canada, or whether it is satisfied with the growth plateau in the region as long as it continues to move forward internationally.
And the company’s 74 million subscribers in the United States and Canada effectively limit Netflix’s streaming competition. Netflix still dominates Disney+, Hulu, AT&T’s HBO Max, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, and other newer streaming services in terms of total subscribers. Cowen & Co. released survey results earlier this month in a note to customers that showed 25% of respondents said they use Netflix more than any other video service, including standard cable and streaming TV. It has overshadowed other subscription streaming services. Amazon Prime Video came in second with 7.3%.
If “Squid Game” can’t attract millions of new subscribers, it’s fair to wonder if the new content could really change things in the region.
Disclosure: Comcast’s NBCUniversal Corporation is the parent company of CNBC and streaming service Peacock.
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