Netflix is reportedly predicted to see the lowest number of fresh subscriptions in the first quarter this year since the past four years, possibly hinting the end of the boom in home entertainment brought about by the pandemic, experts predict.
Netflix hit more than 200 million subscribers last year amidst the pandemic as people resorted to streaming platforms to beat boredom. Typically, the company’s first quarter sees a rise in new subscribers as families in leading markets like Europe and North America look for entertainment to bear the winter weather.
As per reports, for 2021, Netflix’s forecasts predict 6 million new subscriptions, which is the lowest hike in the first quarter number since 2017, significantly lower than its nearly 16 million sign-ups from Q1 of 2020, as nations begin to ease lockdown restrictions.
Richard Broughton, Analyst, Ampere, reportedly believes that it is not the end of the pandemic effect yet for streaming services such as Netflix, but it is the start of the tail end of it.
However, Broughton also claimed that subscriptions are definitely declining, especially as markets across the globe are starting to emerge from, what is hopefully, the last wave of the pandemic. This will give consumers a chance to partake in wider entertainment and leisure activities that were not available to them last year.
For instance, the UK has gradually executed the lifting of lockdown restrictions, allowing schools to resume classes and people to go outdoors, which has subsequently changed habits acquired during the pandemic.
Since the beginning of March, daily park visits have seen a 60% increase than the pre-pandemic numbers from February 2020, as reported in the Covid-19 Community Mobility Trends by Google, indicative of the expanding options of activities for consumers.
2020 was the most successful year ever for Netflix, with it recording 36.6 million new subscriptions as the pandemic expedited the rate at which consumers joined the streaming platform. According to reports, the platform is set to dedicate a capital of around USD 19 billion towards making and purchasing TV shows and movies in 2021, higher than the USD 17.3 billion expenditure it assigned for the same purpose in 2020.