Apr 20, 2021 - Economy

Streaming competitors close in on Netflix in U.S.

Percent share of new U.S. streaming subscribers
Data: Kantar; Chart: Axios Visuals

Analysts are bullish ahead of Netflix's Q1 earnings Tuesday, but there's no question that the streaming giant will need to rely heavily on subscriber gains abroad in order to maintain its lead in the streaming wars.

Driving the news: The percentage of new streaming subscribers in the U.S. signing up for Netflix has declined since the onset of the pandemic, thanks to increased competition from new streamers, according to data from Kantar.

The big picture:

  • HBO Max's decision to put all of its Warner Bros. films on its streaming service in conjunction with their theatrical debut has boosted new sign-ups.
  • Disney+ hits like "WandaVision" helped the streamer surpass 100 million subscribers earlier this year.

The real question, Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw notes, "is whether this loss of share means interest in Netflix is sagging." New entrants to the streaming battlefield doesn't have to be a loss for Netflix.

What to watch: Analysts will want to know more about how price increases and password-sharing crackdowns have impacted financials and subscriber growth.

Go deeper: Netflix inks major streaming deal with Sony, expanding library

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