Free To Air Loses 5% Of Viewers To ‘The Netflix Effect’ But Subscriber Numbers On The Wane

Free To Air Loses 5% Of Viewers To ‘The Netflix Effect’ But Subscriber Numbers On The Wane
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Netflix’s share price plummeted 15 per cent overnight on Wall Street and the global video streamer is pointing the finger of blame at stalled subscriber growth amongst we Aussies.

The share price did however recover to be only 10 per cent down at the end of trading.

This follows reports yesterday that Netflix had been the root cause for Australian free-to-air stations (FTA) losing up to five per cent of their audiences over the past 12 months; the video streamers and YouTube being held responsible.

Fairfax Media yesterday reported leaked OzTam figures that show that FTA lost 14.8 per cent over the previous 12 months from the key youth demographic – the 16-39 year olds.

The falls in the youth demographic were offset by a small rise (2.2 per cent) in the over 55s tuning in.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s share price woes are being blamed on shortfalls in subscriber growth in the Australian and New Zealand markets and the fact that mooted plans to expand into China had stalled.

In a statement to shareholders the company said: “Our international forecast for fewer net adds than prior year is due to a tough comparison against the Australia/New Zealand launch. The ANZ growth spike in Q2 last year resulted in international Q2 net adds more than doubling year over year (from 1.12 million to 2.37 million). While ANZ is growing steadily this Q2, it is less than the launch spike last year. Ex­ANZ, international net adds would be forecast up this quarter. International net adds are down sequentially both due to standard seasonality and our launch in 130 countries at very beginning of Q1 (so Q1 captured the initial surge of sign­ups).”

Regarding its Chinese expansion the company said” “On China, we are continuing discussions but have no material update on our approach or timing. Whatever we do will have only a modest financial effect in the near term.”

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