In Q1 and Q2 of this year, Netflix added 4 million and 1.5 million subscribers respectively. This is a far cry from the 25 million it added during the same period last year. Boosted by the pandemic, Netflix’s subscriptions grew exponentially during the first half of 2020, before slowing back down to average growth in the latter part of the year. As of June 2021, Netflix had just over 209 million subscribers worldwide.
While subscription increases are significantly lower this year than last, this was inevitable. And the 1.5 million subscribers just added is 40 percent more than the reserved 1 million estimate Netflix announced in its Q1 report. However, despite this growth, Netflix saw a drop in its UCAN figures for the first time since Q2 2019. From Q1 to Q2 of 2021, subscriber levels in the United States and Canada dropped by just over half a percent from 74.38 million to 73.95 million. Netflix attributes this to its large subscriber base in this area and its smaller quarter for acquisition.
What’s in store for the remainder of 2021?
Below, we take a look at the estimated subscription numbers in 50 countries and Netflix’s growth in each region. We’ve calculated the average revenue Netflix is generating in each of these locations before looking further ahead to see what revenues Netflix could expect for Q3 and Q4 of 2021.
Netflix subscribers and revenues by country
Above we can see the number of subscribers by country as of 2020/21. These are based on the most up-to-date figures available with the majority based on estimates (as Netflix rarely reveals the number of subscribers outside of the US).
To try and ascertain how much revenue Netflix has generated in these countries, we’ve applied the figures from their quarterly earnings report for Q1 and Q2 2021. Then, to get an estimate of the current subscriber figures in these countries, we’ve applied the percent increase seen in each region each quarter (going back to when the subscriber figure/estimate is from).
We have then projected ongoing revenues for Q3 and Q4 of 2021 based on Netflix’s estimates for the next quarter. It forecasts a paid net additions increase of 3.5 million, which is an increase of 1.67 percent on Q2 figures. If Netflix achieves this estimate, it will have added over 54 million subscribers in 24 months which is within the anticipated growth rate pre-COVID.
If Netflix achieves the growth it anticipates for Q3, it forecasts profits of $7.48 billion. This is a profit growth of 1.84 percent. Should this continue into Q4, Netflix’s profits by the end of 2021 could be as high as $7.6 billion.
You can also see whether or not these revenue-generating countries are getting good value for their money in our study on which countries pay the most and least for Netflix.
Netflix’s penetration by country
According to our estimates, Norway has the highest percentage of Netflix subscribers per population. With an estimated 1.97 million subscribers, that’s nearly 37 percent of the Norweigan population that subscribe to Netflix. Norway also far exceeds third- and second-place New Zealand and Australia where 25.8 and 24.9 percent of the population have Netflix subscriptions. The US and UK come in at fourth and fifth with 20.4 and 19 percent of the population having a subscription respectively.
At the other end of the scale is Russia where just 0.13 percent of the population has a Netflix subscription. Even though a recent survey suggests 38 percent of the population are subscribed to a video service (23 percent pay for one), many choose Russian-based providers such as ivi and Kinopoisk HD.
ivi’s paid service is 399 RUB ($5.42) and grants access to more than 80,000 TV shows and movies, including Disney, Marvel, Warner, and Paramount. With Netflix’s basic package for Russia coming in at around $8 and giving access to just under 5,500 titles, it’s perhaps no surprise Russians are opting for these alternative services.
One thing to consider here, too, is how recent statistics suggest a high number of people (41%) don’t pay for Netflix. 27 percent watch using the paid subscription of someone in their household, while 14 percent use a password shared with them from a friend or family member from outside their home. This would significantly increase the number of people accessing Netflix in each country.
Netflix’s regional growth from 2018 to Q2 2021
If we look at Netflix’s subscriber figures by region we can see that the predominant growth has been in the area of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with this forming a larger and larger chunk of Netflix’s subscriber base. The US and Canada now form just over a third of Netflix’s subscriber base, compared to over half at the start of 2018, while subscriber percentages within Latin America have remained pretty constant.
However, if we look at revenue growth by region, we can see that one of the biggest leaps in revenue came from Asia-Pacific.
In Q1 and Q2 of 2020, the Asia-Pacific region saw a 16 and 18 percent increase in revenue respectively thanks to a huge increase in subscriber figures (an increase of over 6 million in 6 months). Throughout the remainder of 2020 and into the start of 2021, this region continued to add the highest rate of subscribers with a further 5.4 million being added since Q2 2020 (over 33 percent of all the subscribers added during this time).
As we can see from the above chart, the Latin-America region is the least profitable for Netflix with the current average monthly cost being $7.50. This is almost half the cost for UCAN customers. It’s also over $1 less than the average cost there almost two years ago. In Q3 2019, the average monthly cost of subscriptions in this region was $8.63.
Meanwhile, in the Asia-Pacific region, the average monthly cost hasn’t varied much over the last three and a half years. In Q1 2018, the average cost was $9.55, just less than 20¢ cheaper than today’s average price of $9.74.
These lower prices are likely due to Netflix’s attempts to further penetrate these markets, with ambitious plans to have 100 million subscribers in India alone (estimates put the current figure at around 5 million).
We have tried to focus on countries with the highest number of Netflix subscribers but have only included those where we could find reliable, first-hand sources. Due to the fact Netflix hardly ever discusses subscriber figures in a specific country (aside from the US), there is a whole host of estimates available. We have only used those that are backed up or come from a reputed source. Where more than one estimate is available, we have gone with the more reserved one.
To calculate the revenue earnings in each country, we have used the average monthly revenue per subscription that Netflix has reported within the region the country is located in. These monthly earnings may be higher or lower than the monthly fees charged by Netflix in the country. For example, monthly fees in Turkey (even for Premium accounts) are lower than $11.66, but this is the average revenue figure per subscription for the region.
Data researcher: Charlotte Bond
View the full data set and list of sources here.
I was trying understand Netflix’s rise for a project I’m working on. This is some excellent work and I love how you’ve given your sources and explained the methodology. Thank you 🙂