Netflix to Stop Reporting Subscriber Numbers in 2025, Citing New Focus on ‘Engagement’

“When people watch more, they stick around longer (retention) … and place a higher value on our service,” the company writes in its Q1 report

Netflix logo

Netflix will stop reporting its subscriber count beginning in 2025.

Instead of reporting its usual subscriber numbers quarterly as the streamer has traditionally done, Netflix announced in its first quarter letter to shareholders that it will shift to a new focus on engagement. The streamer also notified shareholders it would no longer report its average revenue per member (ARM).

“As we’ve noted in previous letters, we’re focused on revenue and operating margin as our primary financial metrics — and engagement (i.e. time spent) as our best proxy for customer satisfaction,” the letter read. “In our early days, when we had little revenue or profit, membership growth was a strong indicator of our future potential. But now we’re generating very substantial profit and free cash flow (FCF). We are also developing new revenue streams like advertising and our extra member feature, so memberships are just one component of our growth.”

The letter continued by noting the streamer has “evolved our pricing and plans from a single to multiple tiers with different price points depending on the country,” leading to each incremental paid membership having “a very different business impact.” For this reason, the letter notes, Netflix had already halted providing quarterly paid membership guidance in 2023.

The streamer will instead pivot to reporting “engagement,” with the letter stating that “success in streaming starts with engagement.”

“When people watch more, they stick around longer (retention), recommend Netflix more often (acquisition) and place a higher value on our service,” the letter stated. “It’s why we’ve been providing progressively more information on engagement, starting with our Top 10 weekly and most popular lists and more recently our biannual report into viewing on Netflix (which covers ~99% of all video watch time on our service). This is more information than any of our competitors provide, and we expect to provide even more over time.”

During the Q1 earnings call, co-CEO Greg Peters noted the change will reflect “the key metrics that we think matter most of the business” and will be a “better approach that reflects the evolution of the business.”

Co-CEO Ted Sarandos added that engagement marks “the single best indicator of member satisfaction with our offering and … is a leading indicator for retention and acquisition over time.”

After unveiling the first biannual report in December 2023, Sarandos revealed that the viewing report — which tallied up over 18,000 titles that were watched for over 50,000 hours — would become even more “granular” over time.

“We currently report our engagement on our biannual engagement report, leading the industry and viewing transparency and granularity,” Sarandos said on the call. “Our current report covers about 99% of the viewing on Netflix, but we’ll look at the regularity in different ways that we can make it even easier to track our progress on engagement.”

Comments

One response to “Netflix to Stop Reporting Subscriber Numbers in 2025, Citing New Focus on ‘Engagement’”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.