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Netflix will stop revealing global subscriber numbers in 2025

The decision to stop revealing subscriber data will make it harder to compare Netflix to other international TV services like Disney Plus and Max.

The decision to stop revealing subscriber data will make it harder to compare Netflix to other international TV services like Disney Plus and Max.

The logo of Netflix appears on a smartphone.
The logo of Netflix appears on a smartphone. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

After it pulled the plug on password sharing last year, streaming behemoth Netflix says it will soon stop sharing something of its own: Data related to the number of people willing to pay for the service.

Starting early next year, Netflix will no longer disclose its global subscriber count, a move that is intended to draw more shareholder interest in its overall revenue and average time spent on its platform.

The decision to stop sharing information related to the number of customers willing to pay for Netflix suggests the company believes its growth has peaked or will relatively soon — that anyone willing to pay for Netflix is already doing so, or that they will within the next few months as the company continues to crack down on password sharing across its global footprint.

Some former freeloaders have already purchased a Netflix account of their own, with the company revealing a net addition of 9.3 million global customers during the first quarter (Q1) of 2024. The company now reaches over 269 million customers around the world.

Netflix sees the highest average revenue per user, or ARPU, in the United States and Canada (UCAN), which was reported at $17.30. By comparison, Netflix’s ARPU in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) clocked in at $10.92 during Q1 2024, while Latin American ARPU came in at $8.29. The Asia-Pacific countries, which includes Australia and New Zealand, saw ARPU at $7.35, the lowest of Netflix’s four core regions.

While ARPU in UCAN might be higher than any other territory, it is also true that Netflix has seen slower customer growth there compared to other places. The number of customers purchasing a Netflix subscription in UCAN was 2.53 million during Q1 2024, compared to 2.916 million who bought Netflix in EMEA.

Netflix justified its future decision to stop disclosing subscriber figures by saying the data was a byproduct of an era when its streaming service was still growing.

“In our early days, when we had little revenue or profit, membership growth was a strong indicator of our future potential,” executives said in a letter distributed to shareholders with its financial earnings report on Monday.

“But, now, we’re generating very substantial profit and free cash flow,” the executives continued. “We are also developing new revenue streams like advertising and our extra member feature, so memberships are just one component of our growth.”

Netflix’s decision to stop reporting specific subscriber counts will also make it more difficult to compare the service to competitors like Disney Plus, Paramount Plus and Max, which are also building out their overseas businesses. But it will put Netflix in a special category of companies that have long held subscriber data close to their chests: Apple and Amazon have rarely disclosed subscriber figures for their Apple TV Plus and Prime Video services, choosing to do so only on an irregular basis, and only when it contributes to a positive narrative about their respective companies.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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