Netflix ended 2021 with global successes like Squid Game or La Casa de Papel, but the audience records do not hide the slowdown in the growth of new subscribers, which worries investors. The streaming platform now has 221.8 million subscribers, slightly less than the 222 million it had expected, according to its fourth-quarter earnings release released Thursday. Crucially, it only expects 2, 5 million new subscribers for the current quarter, compared to the 4 million gained from January to March 2021. You have to go back to 2010 to find such a low figure for a first quarter, when Netflix had only 13.9 million subscribers. The sanction was immediate on Wall Street: the action of the Californian group lost up to 20% during electronic exchanges after the closing of the Stock Exchange. “Retention (of subscribers) and audiences remain solid but the growth of new subscribers has not returned to pre-pandemic levels,” admits the pioneering service in the sector, which largely benefited from health restrictions in 2020 and early 2021. “We believe this is due to various factors, including the Covid which continues to weigh on the economy and macroeconomic difficulties in different parts of the world, especially Latin America”. “There is nothing wrong with Netflix, they are just facing more and more aggressive competition. It is therefore becoming more difficult for them to distinguish themselves and attract the public”, reacts the independent analyst Robert Enderle .Squid Game 2From October to December, the group achieved 7.7 billion dollars in revenue, 607 million in net profits and accumulated 8.28 million new subscribers, a performance in line with market expectations. The platform benefited from the global success of the South Korean series Squid Game, which had been seen by more than 142 million subscribers in mid-October, a month after its release, or some two-thirds of users. A record. The leaders of the group have also confirmed that there will be a second season, without giving a date. The end of 2021 was also marked by the new and final season of the Spanish series La Casa de Papel. For 2022, on the other hand, it will have to wait until March for big releases, like season 2 of Bridgerton, the second most popular on the service. And the group announced last Friday increases between one and two dollars in its monthly subscriptions to United States. The base option now costs $9.99, and the most expensive goes to $19.99. In addition, “with relatively high inflation at the moment, people are trying to reduce certain recurring costs”, notes Robert Enderle. Production costs are also rising, and do not always pay off. Cowboy Bebop, a highly anticipated series released in November but canceled after just one season, “was a very expensive failure,” he adds. However, the platform cannot afford to invest less, while it is measured daily against major competitors, from Disney + to HBO Max. It collected nearly 50% of the revenue collected by video streaming platforms in 2018 , but by 2023, the firm eMarketer predicts that its share will have fallen to 28%. It also launched its own mobile games at the end of last year. “Netflix’s recent breakthroughs in online commerce and video games show that it is seeking to diversify its income,” commented Paul Verna of eMarketer. As a dominant player in streaming – its name is synonymous with technology – the platform also faces enormous expectations. “Over the past five years, Netflix has doubled its penetration among households, but still has a lot compared to the records of subscribers to pay channels (around 800 million)”, underlines Robert Cantwell, founder of the investment fund UPholdings. The service is in no way seeking to moderate its ambitions.”Even in this uncertain world and in the face of increased competition, we are optimistic about our long-term growth prospects as streaming gradually replaces forms of linear entertainment. [la télévision traditionnelle, ndlr] worldwide,” Netflix said in its statement. It also recalled its success at the Emmy Awards, equivalent to the Oscars of American television, with The Crown and Le Jeu de la Dame, or with the film The Power of the Dog.