Netflix Loses 1.3 Million Subscribers, Plans Ad Model For Early 2023

Netflix just can’t seem to catch a break. After losing 200,000 subscribers between January and March, the streamer’s subscriber bleed is continuing into Q2, as it loses a whopping 1.3 million users between April and June.

Stranger Things Season 4, the biggest player of Q2.

The end of June puts subscriber count at 220.67 million, down from 221.64 million from the previous quarter, which is itself a drop from last year’s 221.84 million. The Q2 figures are hardly optimistic, but the result is actually better than CFO Spence Newman’s forecasted loss of two million.

The boost in this quarter can be attributed to the highly-successful Stranger Things 4, with Netflix projecting a one million subscriber bounce back in the current quarter. Revenue growth, however, is expected to stall year-over-year.

Moving forward, Netflix has announced its plan for a lower-priced ad model in partnership with Microsoft, which now appears to be launching in early 2023. The scheme will see customers forking in a smaller subscription fee, in exchange for ad breaks in their shows and movies. A full rollout of its paid account sharing feature is also set to drop in the same year.

These changes are unlikely to sit well among users, considering how many free (and often, illegal) streaming websites offer the same ad model at no extra cost. Upgrading account sharing to the premium tier reduces the appeal factor as well, especially since it remains a mainstay with competitors like Disney+ .

Still, it’s too early to say how Netflix will ultimately perform. The previous quarter’s subscriber loss led to several cancelled projects and a significant stock drop, but there are some upcoming heavy hitters that might very well restore the faith in Netflix, including an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, the sequel to Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, The Old Guard 2, a second season for Squid Game, season two of Arcane, and Black Mirror Season 6.