Netflix is reigning over spending, a sign the company is struggling with slow subscriber growth. information reported Friday that company executives recently warned employees to be careful with spending and hiring.
The warnings were first issued at an offsite Netflix management event in Anaheim, California last month and then discussed again at an employee town hall on Monday, three told The Information. sources close to the discussions. Netflix’s workforce exploded 59% over the past three years, ending 2021 with around 11,300 people, and the streamer has invested heavily in its own content.
The warnings are a signal that Netflix is thinking more about slowing its subscriber growth. In previous years, the company has seen double-digit subscriber growth for several quarters. But in the fourth quarter of 2021, Netflix’s subscriber base grew by only 8.9%, compared to nearly 22% in the same period in 2020. The company limited its growth expectations for the first quarter to a increase of 8% in the number of subscribers, or 2.5%. million people around the world.
Netflix did not immediately respond to Protocol’s request for comment. Shares of the company fell slightly in after-hours trading following the release of The Information’s report.
As the company battles slowing growth, it also hiked prices in the US and Canada by $1-2 a month and began cracking down on widespread password sharing by testing additional charges. for additional users in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.
Although Netflix still ranks as the world’s top streaming service with nearly 222 million users, its rivals are quickly gaining ground: Disney+ has a total subscriber base of nearly 130 million after launching in November 2019, and HBO has a total of almost 74 million between its HBO Max streaming service and its cable channel.