As Netflix’s U.S. Growth Peaks and Stock Tumbles, Will Foreign Subscribers Come to the Rescue?

Streaming giant posts the worst year for subscriber growth since 2015

The Streaming Wars have gone global and nobody is betting more on that than Netflix. As U.S. subscriber growth comes to a near-standstill amid mounting competition from upstarts, the streaming giant needs foreign consumers more than ever to maintain its perch.

And investors, once bullish on the streaming innovator, are starting to panic. Netflix’s stock price tumbled as much as 20% on Thursday after the company reported its Q4 earnings. Not only did Netflix miss on its subscriber goals for 2021 (though just barely), it posted its worst year of growth since 2015 — roughly half of its record-setting 2020. Worse yet, Netflix is forecasting to have its worst first quarter in at least a decade (only 2.5 million net new subscribers).

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Tim Baysinger

TV reporter • tim.baysinger@thewrap.com • Twitter: @tim_bays