The world’s leading streaming entertainment service Netflix announced Tuesday that it added 1.5 million paid memberships worldwide in the second quarter of 2021.
In its second-quarter letter to shareholders, Netflix said it finished the quarter with over 209 million paid memberships, slightly ahead of its own forecast. The Asia-Pacific region represented about two-thirds of the company’s global paid net adds in the quarter. Netflix’s revenue in the second quarter of 2021 increased 19 per cent year over year to 7.3 billion U.S. dollars while operating income rose 36 per cent year over year to 1.8 billion dollars. Revenue growth was driven by an 11-per cent increase in average paid streaming memberships and an 8-per cent growth in average revenue per membership said the company.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unusual choppiness in the company’s growth and distorts year-over-year comparisons as acquisition and engagement per member household spiked in the early months of the pandemic. In the second quarter of 2021, the company’s engagement per member household was, as expected, down versus those unprecedented levels but was still up 17 percent compared with a more comparable second quarter of 2019, according to Netflix. Netflix said it’s forecasting 3.5 million new subscribers in the third quarter.
The company also noted that COVID-related production delays in 2020 have led to a lighter first half of 2021 slate that will build through the course of the year. “COVID and its variants make predicting the future hard, but with productions largely running smoothly so far, we’re optimistic in our ability to deliver a strong second half slate,” the company told shareholders in the second-quarter letter. Through the first half of 2021, Netflix has spent 8 billion dollars in cash on content, up 41 percent year over year, and the company expects content amortization to be around 12 billion dollars for the full year, up 12 percent year over year. The company also said it’s “in the early stages of further expanding into games.”