Netflix had more than 209 million paid subscribers worldwide at the end of Q2 2021, according to the company’s latest quarterly results. Although a massive number in its own right, it does only represent a small improvement on the previous quarter. Still, Netflix is one of the companies that has seen a big increase in users and usage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Netflix has always been a popular streaming service, but in the early months of the pandemic and when various lockdown measures were implemented, the service saw a massive uptick in users worldwide. As to be expected with lockdown measures now easing up in some places, the level of growth experienced during those months was unlikely to be sustained.
That’s what now appears to be the case. Netflix today released its latest quarter results, confirming 209.18 million paid subscribers for the second quarter of 2021. Compared to the previous quarter, the figure represents an increase of under two million, and an increase of over 16 million when compared to the second quarter of 2020.
When it comes to the US and Canada, Netflix closed out the second quarter of this year with 73.95 million paid memberships. This is a slight increase from the 74.38 million noted for the first quarter of the year, and a slightly larger increase compared to the 72.9 million paid memberships at the close of the second quarter of last year.
The pandemic effect and Netflix’s gaming future
Netflix blamed the current slowdown in growth on the pandemic, highlighting the “unusual choppiness” that has made it more difficult to make clear year-over-year comparisons. Again, noting how the initial months of the pandemic resulted in a spike of activity for the service, Netflix alluded to a natural rebound as now taking place. Still, although Netflix confirmed engagement per member was expectedly down, it was still up by 17% when making comparisons to the same quarter in 2019.
Netflix now anticipates closing out the third quarter of 2021 with around 212.68 million paid members. However, that was not the biggest forward-looking statement made during the announcement, considering Netflix also made clear its intention to move into gaming. Netflix explained that a move into gaming is an extension of the more interactive content the service has been working on recently, naming Black Mirror Bandersnatch as one such example. When Netflix does eventually launch games, the service says they will be made available to subscribers at no additional cost.