Netflix’s domestic growth mostly exhausted
Netflix (NFLX) has been telling Wall Street it expects its US customer base to peak at 60 million–90 million paying subscribers. With Netflix finishing the first quarter with 60.2 million paying US subscribers, the company crossed the low end of its domestic subscriber target.
However, it may be much more difficult for Netflix to reach the high end of its targeted peak. According to PwC research cited by Variety, Netflix has mostly exhausted its domestic potential and doesn’t have much more room to grow.
Tightening competition to slow Netflix’s domestic growth
The arrival of new competitors is expected to further slow Netflix’s US subscriber growth. Walt Disney (DIS), Apple, and AT&T (T) all plan to launch Netflix-like video services in the coming months, and Comcast (CMCSA) plans to launch a digital video streaming service next year. Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL), and Amazon (AMZN) compete with Netflix for digital video consumers with their Watch, YouTube, and Prime Video services, respectively.
Netflix’s numbers suggest it may be running out of steam in its home market. Whereas the company added 870,000 US subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2018, it expects to add only 300,000 in this year’s second quarter.