Netflix had a great few days leading up to Memorial Day weekend 2023.
According to new research by Antenna, from May 24 to 27, Netflix enjoyed its biggest four days of signups in the United States in the four-and-a-half years it has measured the streamer. Netflix saw nearly 100,000 sign-ups on both the 26th and 27th, .
Why those days? On May 23, Netflix began informing subscribers in America that it was cracking down on password sharing. Clearly, the binge audience has met that call-to-action with plenty of action. In other words (speaking of “action”), that probably wasn’t all for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new series “FUBAR,” which Netflix released on May 25 and is still going strong. his weekly Top 10.
Over the entire four-day period highlighted in Antenna’s results, Netflix averaged 73,000 subscribers, a 102 percent improvement over the previous 60-day average, according to data from what Antenna calls its Acquisition Drivers product. (Learn more Here and/or peek at the data in a neatly packaged graph.)
That daily average is even better than the peaks the streamer experienced during the initial COVID-19 lockdown in March and April 2020. Even as cancellations increased from May 24 to 27, Netflix’s subscription-to-cancellation ratio was up by 25.6% over the previous 60-day period.
May ended Netflix well, a trend that seems to have carried over into June. A pair of Wall Street analysts raised their price targets for Netflix (NFLX) stock on Wednesday; Wells Fargo jumped from $400 to $500. The bank’s substantial increase, as well as that of JP Morgan (PT: $380 to $470), tied to the potential of Netflix’s paid-sharing program and advertising plan.
A Wall Street analyst who requested anonymity told IndieWire on Friday that while the analyst community (outside of hedge funds) didn’t have early access to Antenna’s results, it had heard that Netflix signup numbers after the launch of paid sharing in the US ‘were looking good’ based on credit card information.
Those Wednesday notes to investors primed the pump; this morning, almost certainly thanks to data from the Antenna, NFLX stock hit a new 52-week high of $424.65. That’s not $700, NFLX’s all-time high (very short-lived, closed Nov. 17, 2021 at $691.69), but it’s much better than the company’s current 52-week low of $164.28.
When reached for comment on the antenna data, a Netflix spokesperson told IndieWire, “We generally don’t comment on third-party searches.”
These days, to share an existing Netflix account with a member outside your household, the paying subscriber has to pay an additional $7.99 per borrower, per month. Currently, users can only “share” an ad-free account. Netflix’s “Standard” plan ($15.49/month) allows sharing with only one individual outside of the household; “Premium” accounts ($19.99/month) can add up to two borrowers.
Alternatively, a borrower is also able (some might say, encouraged) to transfer their existing profile to a new account (for a fee); Netflix plans start at $6.99 (with ads), which is $1 less per month than the paid sharing charge. Who could have seen a number of people choose that option?
In the first three months of 2023, Netflix added 1.75 million paid subscribers worldwide, bringing the grand total to 232.5 million. Netflix no longer offers forecasts for quarterly subscriber growth, instead choosing to focus on revenue as its primary financial metric. If your company made $8 billion in revenue a quarter, you probably would too.