Exclusive website-tracking data suggests Netflix's subscriber surge during the pandemic started to slow internationally in the third quarter (NFLX)

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Netflix’s meteoric international subscriber growth in 2020 is
starting to slow, data from the analytics firm SimilarWeb that was
shared exclusively with Business Insider suggests.�

Netflix broke its own records for subscriber growth this year,
adding 26 million paid subscribers globally in the first six months
of 2020 — nearly as many as it posted all last year. About 80% of
that growth came from outside of the US and Canada, driven by
regions including Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

But that growth could be flagging.

SimilarWeb tracked traffic and engagement to Netflix’s sign-up
and cancellation webpages outside of the US and Canada to estimate
the company’s international subscriber growth and churn during the
third quarter. Netflix is set to report earnings for its third
quarter on October 20.

The SimilarWeb data captures a snapshot of Netflix’s traffic,
including visits to the desktop and mobile-web version of its
sign-up page and the desktop version of its cancellation page in 56
countries around the world where Netflix is available like the UK,
Brazil, India, and Thailand. It’s based on a sample of users who
opt in to have their browser activity tracked.

In past quarters, SimilarWeb’s Netflix-related data
helped predict key subscriber growth trends
at the company.

The third-quarter data suggested that, while fewer people
canceled their Netflix subscriptions during the period, Netflix’s
international subscriber growth also fell below the levels this
time last year.

SimilarWeb estimated that Netflix’s paid international
subscriber base grew 29% year over year during the third quarter.
In third quarter of 2019, SimilarWeb estimated that Netflix’s
international subscribers grew by an estimated 37%, which was in
line with the 35% bump the company reported outside of the US and
Canada in its official numbers.

Netflix warned of a potential subscriber growth slowdown in its
last earnings report.

Netflix predicted last quarter that its subscriber growth would
slow during the second half of 2020 compared to last year. It said
the coronavirus pandemic caused a “pull-forward” of adoption,
driving subscribers to sign up for the service sooner than they
otherwise might have.

Globally, Netflix forecasted it would add just 2.5 million
subscribers during the third quarter, compared with the 6.8 million
in brought in a year earlier.

On the other hand, cancellations of Netflix are still declining
as they did last quarter
, the SimilarWeb data suggested.

That trend suggests that Netflix is holding onto its newly
gained subscribers. Last quarter, subscription-analytics firm
Antenna found that
Netflix had the lowest rate of churn
of any of the major US
streaming services.

The streaming giant’s pace of releases held steady during the
third quarter, with movies like “The Old Guard” and “Enola Holmes”
and shows like “Ratched” and a new season of the “The Umbrella
Academy” during the quarter. That could also potentially have
helped mitigate churn.

Netflix did, however, alienate some subscribers in the US during
the third quarter. Earlier SimilarWeb data
showed a spike in traffic to Netflix’s US cancellation-confirmation
in mid-September, coinciding with the release of the
controversial film, “Cuties.” But traffic to the page returned to
normal levels after a few days.

Internationally, SimilarWeb’s third-quarter data suggested the
film had no discernible impact on cancellations around the rest of
the world.

Netflix’s stock climbed in 2020 as streaming viewership rose
during stay-at-home orders. Shares of the company are up 71% year
to date, compared with a 9% lift in the S&P 500 index.

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Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
Exclusive website-tracking data suggests Netflix's
subscriber surge during the pandemic started to slow
internationally in the third quarter (NFLX)