‘Stranger Things’ appears to have helped stem Netflix’s subscriber loss

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Streaming giant Netflix lost nearly a million subscribers in the second quarter of 2022 — but the numbers could have been a lot worse.

Prior to announcing second-quarter financials, the company had warned it could lose up to 2 million subscribers, so the 970,000 figure was a bit of good news for the streamer and its investors.

However, this marks the second consecutive quarter of subscriber loss for the service, which had previously experienced a solid run of growth.

The Los Angeles Times notes that Netflix opting to eschew its longtime practice of dropping series all at once may have helped the numbers.

Popular series “Stranger Things” (also known as “Stranger Things 4”) was released in two batches, one May 27, 2022 and the other July 1, 2022. Those dates notably straddle three months: May, June and July and could have generated multi-month subscriptions from fans who wanted to keep up with the series as it was released (though July figures would not have been included in second-quarter results).

Next quarter, Netflix is forecasting it will add 1 million subscribers, effectively erasing second-quarter losses but still putting the service below its previous highs.

Netflix is also preparing to rollout a lower-priced ad-supported plan powered by Microsoft and crack down further on password sharing as a way to continue to grow its subscriber base.