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Report: Netflix Has 198M Remaining Potential Subscribers, Only 6.6M in U.S.

Matt Tamanini

At a certain point, streaming services will eventually run out of new people to subscribe to their platforms. And despite the explosion of smart TVs — not to mention of the earth’s population — there is an inevitable saturation point coming at some point on the horizon for all of these streamers; and for some, it’s coming sooner rather than later.

A new report from research institute MoffettNathanson indicates that Netflix, by far the world’s largest streaming service, has 101.8 million potential subscriptions left in their top 20 countries, but only 6.6M of those are in the United States.

Based on the data released in their Q4 2021 earnings call, the vast majority of Netflix’s new subscribers from the end of last year came from outside of the U.S. and Canada.

MoffettNathanson projects that by 2025, Netflix will have approximately 425M subscribers worldwide. That would be a significant increase over the 221.84M reported at the end of 2021. They believe that Japan will be the largest source of new subs, contributing 24.3M in the next 3+ years, with Germany (13.9M), France (10.9), South Korea (8.9M), and Italy (8.7M) rounding out the top five.

However, with Canada and the United States adding just 1.19 million new accounts in Q4 2021, MoffettNathanson projects the U.S. to add just 6.6 million new subscribers by 2025 and Canada to contribute only an additional 200,000. The firm estimates that the United States is currently at 64% of its peak potential number of Netflix subscribers while Canada is at 69%. They see the most growth percentage-wise in Mexico and Brazil (60% current saturation), with Norway already being at 85% subscriber capacity.

Netflix executives are obviously aware of the headwinds that they will inevitably face as they look to add subscribers around the globe. Last week, the streamer again launched plans to dissuade subscribers from sharing their log-in information with friends and family outside of their households. In certain Latin American countries, users are being prompted to opt into a plan to pay to add additional users to their subscriptions.

Many analysts believe that if this test is effective in adding even a little bit of bonus revenue to Netflix’s coffers that it will eventually roll out worldwide in hopes of making back some of the money lost by password sharing.

Since new subscriber totals look like they will eventually be drying up for Netflix, that has led many to wonder if the legacy streamer will follow its more recent competitors into offering an ad-supported option as a way to increase their peak subscriber totals and to bring in additional income. The company’s chief financial officer Spencer Neumann said last week that while there were currently no plans to go that route, the company was not completely opposed to advertising on the platform.

Netflix is a publicly-traded company, therefore, they have a responsibility to make money for their stockholders. And while their time-tested model of adding subscribers and minimizing churn might be getting to the end of its road, they will not stop trying to find new ways to turn a profit, be they stopping password sharing, adding advertising, raising monthly prices, pivoting back to DVDs, or something else altogether.

Netflix

Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, Tiger King, and Bridgerton. They are constantly adding new shows and movies. Some of their Academy Award-winning exclusives include Roma, Marriage Story, Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Netflix offers three plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($9.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($15.49) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($19.99) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

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