Netflix has reported that in the first quarter of 2022, it lost 200,000 subscribers. This is its first subscriber loss in over a decade.
These losses are expected to continue, as the streaming service forecasts a global paid subscriber loss of 2 million for the second quarter. The company told its shareholders that it expected to add 2.5 million net subscribers during the first quarter, compared with 4 million in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts had been expecting 2.7 million subscribers.
The decline brought Netflix’s subscriber base to 221.6 million, down from 221.8 million in the prior quarter. The company estimated its service is being shared with over 100 million additional households, over 30 million of which are based in the U.S and Canada.
The company explained the subscriber loss as being related to a number of factors. Notably, the suspension of its service in Russia led to a loss of 700,000 subscribers. Excluding that, Netflix says it would have instead seen 500,000 net subscriber additions in the quarter. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have had a further impact on other regions, as Netflix said it saw a slowdown in its business in Central and Eastern Europe in March, which coincided with the invasion’s start.
Other factors contributing to the loss cited by Netflix in its shareholder letter were varied. The streamer pointed to everything from password sharing to the competitive landscape to Covid and even to inflation to explain why it was doing so poorly with new user acquisition. To address the password sharing issues, Netflix recently began testing a feature that would prompt subscribers to pay extra if they were sharing the service with people outside their own household.