Netflix suffered its first subscriber loss in more than a decade, causing its shares to plunge 25% in extended trading amid concerns that the pioneering streaming service may have already seen its best days.
The company’s customer base fell by 200,000 subscribers during the January-March period, according to its quarterly earnings report released Tuesday.
It’s the first time that Netflix’s subscribers have fallen since the streaming service became available throughout most of the world outside of China six years ago.
The drop this year stemmed in part from Netflix’s decision to withdraw from Russia to protest the war against Ukraine, resulting in a loss of 700,000 subscribers.
Netflix acknowledged its problems are deep rooted by projecting a loss of another 2 million subscribers during the April-June period.
If the stock drop extends into Wednesday’s regular trading session, Netflix shares will have lost more than half of their value so far this year — wiping out about $150 billion in shareholder wealth in less than four months.
Netflix is hoping to reverse the tide by taking steps it has previously resisted, including blocking the sharing of accounts and introducing a lower-priced — and ad-supported — version of its service.