This is all well and good for now, and it’s a big change from last year when Netflix lost tens of billions in share value overnight. That moment turned out to be something of a wake-up call for the industry at large, which had been chasing streaming as the one, unquestionable future. But even with these latest numbers, Netflix has a big problem that needs to be addressed in the not too distant future. Eventually, they will hit a subscriber cap and growth will no longer be possible. What happens when they inevitably reach that ceiling?
Unfortunately, the business model is based on growth, and that’s what Wall Street likes to see. For now, Netflix is doing its best to push the subscribers it has. They recently decided to stop offering the Basic plan, leaving people to choose between the ad-supported plan or the Standard plan, both of which generate more revenue. It’s a good short-term plan, but the fact is that infinite growth just isn’t feasible, and they’re probably much closer to capping than they were a couple of years ago. Be that as it may, Netflix was very optimistic in the letter to investors.
“Now that we’ve launched payment sharing broadly, we’ve increased confidence in our financial outlook. We expect revenue growth to accelerate in the second half of 2023 as monetization grows since our most recent payment sharing launch and we expand our initiative in nearly all remaining countries, in addition to continued and steady growth in our ad-supported plan.”
Without focusing too much on the more distant future, on the here and now, Netflix managed to successfully execute this password sharing initiative. Don’t be surprised if other streamers try something similar.