Netflix is reportedly set to report its weakest subscriber increase in a decade next week, as the influx of young watchers, who have propelled the company's spectacular ascent, slows down, forcing it to focus on tech-savvy over-55s.
According to reports, when Netflix announces second-quarter results this week, the streaming behemoth expects to have acquired just 1 million novel subscribers, the lowest number of new signups since 2011, when it separated its streaming and postal DVD operations
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic led new viewers to seek out series like The Queen's Gambit, Bridgerton, and The Crown, to deal with lockdown boredom, and the company saw a record rise of 37 million subscribers, taking its worldwide user base to almost 200 million.
This extraordinary pull forward in new customers, who hurried their plans to sign up to the service, explains why the company's growth pace this year has been so concerningly anemic.
It is just a bit shaky right now, Netflix co-founder and CEO, Reed Hastings, remarked in April, dismissing the firm's share price drop of $20 billion (£14.5 billion) after it failed to achieve its target new subscriber goal by 2 million for the first quarter.
However, behind the statistics the streaming giant is seeking to address an age issue: it wants old(er) individuals to subscribe to its service.
Two-thirds of its 207 million worldwide subscribers are located in North America and Europe, both previously thriving regional markets that are starting to stagnate.
The reason behind this low fall is that Netflix has nearly tapped into the whole younger tech-savvy demographic. According to Ampere Analysis data, in the UK, 80% of individuals aged 18 to 34 are now either customers or have access through shared passwords or their families. In the United States, the number are nearly identical.
A media analyst at Ampere, Richard Broughton, stated that Netflix has fallen prey to its own success. It has basically signed up all of the young viewers it can in several of its more established regions because it is so mass-market in these areas.