Netflix topped forecasts for subscriber growth in the third quarter of 2021, buoyed in part by strong interest in global smash-hit series “Squid Game.”
The streamer overall gained 4.38 million paid subscribers in the period, to reach 213.6 million worldwide. Netflix previously projected global net adds of 3.5 million paid subscribers for Q3, a target most analysts expected the company to beat.
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Netflix reported revenue of $7.48 billion and earnings per share of $3.19 for the period. Wall Street analysts on average expected $7.48 billion in revenue and EPS of $2.56, according to Refinitiv data.
“Squid Game,” which premiered Sept. 17, unexpectedly has become Netflix’s biggest-ever original TV show in its first month of release (topping the previous record holder, “Bridgerton”).
Netflix on Tuesday said 142 million member households globally have chosen to watch “Squid Game” in its first four weeks — although it should be noted that counts anyone who watched at least 2 minutes of an episode.
“The breadth of ‘Squid Game’s’ popularity is truly amazing; this show has been ranked as our #1 program in 94 countries (including the US),” Netflix said in its investor letter. “Like some of our other big hits, ‘Squid Game’ has also pierced the cultural zeitgeist, spawning a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit and memes/clips on TikTok with more than 42 billion views. Demand for consumer products to celebrate the fandom for ‘Squid Game’ is high and those items are on their way to retail now.”
Netflix paid $21.4 million for the nine-episode South Korean survival drama and the company estimates “Squid Game” will deliver a whopping $891 million in what it terms “impact value,” according to a Bloomberg report, citing leaked internal data.
More to come.