In context: To nobody's surprise, Netflix has been performing quite well amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Despite economies re-opening globally, many individuals are still working from home, which has given them a lot more free time to watch content on video streaming platforms.
In Q1 2020 alone, Netflix managed to pull in an astounding 15.8 million new subscribers, and now, as Q2 draws to a close, that number has increased to 26 million new premium users. For reference, it took Netflix the entirety of 2019 to reach that number (or close to it: the service's end-of-year subscriber total for 2019 was 28 million users), making this progress all the more impressive.
Obviously, it's quite challenging to tell whether or not Netflix will continue to grow this quickly throughout the remainder of 2020. As more individuals return to work and their free time decreases, Netflix may see a substantial drop in user acquisitions. Indeed, that's precisely what the company's leadership is anticipating for Q3 2020.
Netflix expects to add just 2.5 million new subscribers over the next few months, which is quite a conservative estimate, but perhaps a realistic one. The platform feels that its strong Q1 and Q2 results will reduce demand for the second half of 2020. In other words, just about everyone that might have signed up for the service as a direct result of Covid-19 lockdowns has likely already done so.
Netflix's impressive subscriber figures aside, not all was sunshine and rainbows for the company last quarter. Its Q2 revenue fell short of expectations (despite overall growth year-over-year), and Covid-19's impact on its original content production schedule cannot be understated. The virus has proven so disruptive in this regard that Netflix is expecting many of its upcoming shows to see late 2021 release dates.
Still, we look forward to seeing how Netflix will perform in the coming months. If it's able to return to normalcy where content production is concerned, it might just be able to ride this wave of success well into the new year.