The streaming giant announced on Tuesday that it had added 15.77 million new paid subscribers worldwide, well above the 7 million it expected, as people around the world searched for ways to keep themselves entertained for closures.
The boost has led to a large audience for the service’s hit shows. Some 64 million subscribers watched Netflix’s Tiger King documentary when much of the world locked themselves in to avoid the pandemic. Other successes include the reality show Love Is Blind, which has attracted 30 million subscribers in the past three months, and its original film Spenser Confidential (85 million).
The company recognized that the surge in membership and audience was likely temporary.
“In our 20 years of history, we have never seen such an uncertain or troubling future. The coronavirus has spread to every corner of the world, and without a widespread treatment or vaccine, no one knows how or when this terrible crisis will end, “the company said in a statement.
“At Netflix, we are fully aware that we are fortunate to have an even more meaningful service for those housebound, and that we can operate remotely with minimal disruption in the short and medium term. As with other home entertainment services, we are seeing temporarily higher viewing and an increase in membership. “
Mihir Haria Shah, broadcast manager at Total Media, said the long-term impact of the coronavirus on Netflix operations remains to be seen.
“There is no doubt that Netflix was helped by the viral sensation that is Tiger King and also by the new seasons of Narcos Mexico, Ozark and Money Heist – all of which are Netflix’s original favorites. The challenge of continuing to grow and preventing churn will likely lie in the length of time they can handle dripping into new series with closed production studios for the foreseeable future, “he said.
Netflix, like many other studios and networks, has stopped producing original content since March 13. The streamer has since set up a $ 100 million fund for workers whose jobs have been directly affected. The past few weeks have seen a number of significant acquisitions, including the action comedy Paramount The Lovebirds and Enola Holmes, with Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown as Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister.
“While we are certainly affected by the global production hiatus, we expect to continue to be able to deliver a wide variety of new titles throughout 2020 and 2021,” said the release.