The global frenzy after streaming giant Netflix’s Korean thriller series Squid Game has lured more new customers than expected in the recent quarter. The astonishing rise of the hit-series has resulted in a boost in the shares of the streaming service by 3 percent on Tuesday.

Netflix added 4.38 million new subscribers from July through September to reach a worldwide total of 213.6 million. The rush comes after a sharp slowdown in the first half of the year. The original estimates of the Wall Street analysts had projected 3.86 million new customers.

Netflix enjoyed a subscriber boom last year as COVID-19 kept audiences at home, but growth stalled in the first half of 2021. The rise of competitors including Walt Disney Co’s Disney+ and AT&T Inc’s HBO Max also affected subscription numbers.

Earlier, Netflix had partly blamed the relative halt in growth on little to no new programming as pandemic shutdown productions.

Then in mid-September, Squid Game hit the scene and took everyone by surprise. Netflix says that the show’s sudden rise surprised company executives by becoming the streaming service’s most-watched original series in its first month.

The dark show tells the story of people who compete in a deadly competition to erase their mounting financial debt. The series has topped Netflix viewing charts in multiple countries, kick-started sales of tracksuits and Vans sneakers, and even sparked an interest in learning Korean.

Revenues, projections through the roof

Excitement around Squid Game also is expected to boost the current quarter. Netflix projected it will pick up 8.5 million new customers by year’s end, ahead of industry forecasts of 8.33 million, as the pace of new releases accelerates. Upcoming debuts include big-budget action flick Red Notice and a second season of fantasy drama The Witcher.

For the quarter that ended in September, diluted earnings-per-share came in at $3.19 while revenue rose 16 percent to $7.5bn.

Before the earnings report, Netflix shares had risen roughly 22 percent this year and were trading near record highs, but their gains lag behind the 54 percent increase in the Nasdaq.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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