Netflix is one of those companies that functions like a religion: either you believe, or you don’t. (See also: Tesla and Amazon.) That’s how it goes for a company that is valued at 167 times its earnings over the past year. The tricky thing is that if there are cracks in the belief system, the whole religion is tested. That is what happened to Netflix on Monday when it reported adding about 670,000 net new US streaming subscribers in the second quarter — about half as many as the company had forecast. Including disappointing customer growth outside the US, the company’s 5.15-million net streaming sign-ups fell short of Netflix’s own forecast from April by more than a million subscribers. Its third-quarter subscriber forecasts were also below the average expectations of stock analysts. Netflix lives or dies by its subscriber growth, which is both a financial imperative and proof for the company’s faithful. Given the company’s high-risk strategy of splurging on programming to become a...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.