Netflix has acknowledged that increasing numbers of rival streaming services “may be affecting our marginal growth some”.
The streaming giant gained 8.3 million extra paid memberships in the final financial quarter of 2021, having “over-forecasted” an increase 8.5 million – taking the total to 222 million.
Its total number of paying subscribers increased by just 18 million over the course of 2021 compared to 37 million in 2020, according to filings on the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
But shareholders were told that despite uncertainties the company was “optimistic” about its long-term growth.
“Even in a world of uncertainty and increasing competition, we’re optimistic about our long-term growth prospects as streaming supplants linear entertainment around the world,” the company said.
“Consumers have always had many choices when it comes to their entertainment time – competition that has only intensified over the last 24 months as entertainment companies all around the world develop their own streaming offering.
“While this added competition may be affecting our marginal growth some, we continue to grow in every country and region in which these new streaming alternatives have launched”.
It comes after a year of milestones for Netflix, with dark Korean drama Squid Game being named as the biggest TV show of the year and two of its biggest ever film releases, Red Notice and Don’t Look Up.