Worldwide paid subscriber additions came in at 6.26 million in the quarter, well below the 6.05 million figure that analysts were expecting. "Paid net adds totaled 6.8m compared to our 7.0m forecast and prior year Q3 of 6.1m", began Netflix's letter to investors. Is the company concerned about Disney+ and Apple TV+ - both launching next month - as well as HBO Max and NBCU's Peacock luring away viewers?
Despite positioning Netflix as the market leader, Hastings said that "we believe we're less than 10% of TV screen time in the United States (our most mature market) and much less than that in mobile screen time".
In fact, Netflix estimates that right now it only makes up "less than 10% of TV screen time" in the US, which is its strongest and most mature market. "So just like in the letter we put about the multiple cable networks over the last 30 years not really competing with each other fundamentally but competing with broadcast, I think it's the same kind of dynamic here". Monthly revenue per paid U.S. member increased 16% versus a year ago to $13.32, due largely to recent price increases, which have been phased in completely in the U.S. Management noted that customer disconnects remained elevated during the quarter, reinforcing our hypothesis of some price sensitivity among marginal subscribers, with a less price-sensitive core user base. However, if consumers can be convinced to shed their traditional cable subscriptions, they'll realize that they can easily subscribe to and enjoy several streaming providers for considerably less.
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Netflix also adds that most streaming services have "highly differentiated" libraries made up of "mostly exclusive content", and of course nowhere is this going to be more true than with Apple TV+, which will be made up entirely of Apple produced originals.
CEO Reed Hastings said the newcomers to the streaming market don't represent a "big change" in the competitive landscape, but he admits that linear TV providers do still pose a threat. This, despite actually missing one of its key targets for the third quarter of 2019.