Exclusive web-tracking data suggests Netflix usage continued to climb internationally during Q4, while North American usage dipped (NFLX)

Lupin TV show Netflix Emmanuel Guimier

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Netflix usually stuns investors with its subscriber growth
during the fourth quarter — a pivotal season for movie and
TV releases.

This year, the company
warned Wall Street that its subscriber growth could slow down

after a colossal pickup earlier in the year when many people were
in lockdowns.

Netflix usage did show signs of slowing in North America during
the fourth quarter but seemed to continue climbing internationally,
data from analytics firm SimilarWeb that was shared exclusively
with Insider suggests.�

SimilarWeb tracked visits to Netflix’s desktop website across 58
countries through a sample of users who opted in to have their
browser activity tracked. While the data captures only a snapshot
of Netflix usage, excluding streaming on connected TVs and mobile
phones, it offers a glimpse of streaming trends on the
platform.

Netflix’s average monthly unique visitors dipped in the US and
Canada to 57.9 million in December, down 4% from during this year’s
peak in August, according to the SimilarWeb data. Still,
international usage continued to climb and reached a new high in
December of 140.5 million, up 10% from an earlier peak in September
and 21% from the previous year.Netflix Q4 monthly uniques SimilarWeb

Netflix forecasted 6 million global paid subscriber additions
for the quarter, down from 8.8 million a year earlier and a
quarterly high of 15.8 million in the first quarter.

While Netflix has posted remarkable subscriber growth this year,
it’s also facing more competition in the US from a flood of new
streaming services like Disney Plus and HBO Max. It’s focused on
growing its international audience, announcing original content
pushes in places like
Africa
and
Korea
. It
told Bloomberg’s Shirley Zhao
it would double spending on
original content in Asia in 2021. 

As Netflix invests more in its programming, Wall Street analysts
have been watching its ability to continuing raising prices to fund
that spending. The company hiked during the quarter its rates in
the US, Canada, and Ireland. Netflix has also announced an increase
for the UK in 2021, which could signal more price hikes in Western
Europe are on the way, Bernstein Research analysts wrote in a
January 13 investor note.

Analysts at Cowen also found through a November survey that the
share of people in the US willing to pay more for Netflix rose year
over year, indicating the company’s pricing power was rising in the
country as it invested more into programming, the analysts wrote in
a January 7 note.

Still, UBS analysts, who expect Netflix to beat its subscriber
forecast with 6.43 million additions, remain cautious about the
company’s immediate growth. They’re watching how subscriber trends
in 2021 compare to last year, how consumers respond to the price
hikes and greater competition, and how content distribution is
impacted by the widespread production shutdowns caused by
COVID-19.

“We remain positive on the long term prospects for streaming media
and [Netflix’s] respective role in it but stay on the sidelines,”
the analysts wrote in a January 14 note.

Netflix breaks down its subscriber base by four global regions:
US and Canada (UCAN), Latin American (LATAM), Europe the Middle
East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific (APAC).

Here’s how usage changed in each of those regions during the
fourth quarter, based on SimilarWeb’s data from 58 countries:

  • UCAN: 7.8% year-over-year rise in average
    monthly unique visitors
  • LATAM: 1.9% year-over-year rise in average
    monthly unique visitors
  • EMEA: 17% year-over-year rise in average
    monthly unique visitors
  • APAC: 23.5% year-over-year rise in average
    monthly unique visitors


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Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
Exclusive web-tracking data suggests Netflix usage continued
to climb internationally during Q4, while North American usage
dipped (NFLX)