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Forecast: Netflix to Attract Nearly 8.5 Million New Subscribers for Q1 Due to Stay-at-Home Orders

Fern Siegel

The pandemic is devastating the economy — but some sectors appear bulletproof — such as big streamers. With more Americans at home, their popularity is soaring. And the Pivotal Research Group has upped Netflix’s global subscribers forecast in a new report, noted The Hollywood Reporter.

Analyst Jeff Wlodarczak boosted his forecast for the streamers’ subs additions for the first quarter from 7.90 million to 8.45 million. For Q2, he predicts a rise from nearly 4.88 million to 5.70 million.

“We raised our Netflix global subscriber forecasts materially on likely higher gross subscribers and lower subscriber churn boosted by global consumer stay-at-home orders around COVID-19,” he wrote. “We believe the unfortunate COVID-19 situation is cementing Netflix’s global direct-to-consumer dominance, partly driven by the incremental content spend that is enabled by their massive and growing subscriber base.”

Netflix’s stock price target also earned a substantial hike — to $490. On Tuesday, it hit a new 52-week high at $417.82.

Wlodarczak says the streamer has a solid trajectory: The more its subscriber base grows, the more it spends on original content. That, in turn, increases viability for its target market. An added boost for Netflix is its ad-free status “at a relatively low cost.”

Also this week, Netflix signed a first-look deal for action and animated series with publisher BOOM! Studios (“Lumberjanes,” Once & Future”). They teamed for BOOM!’s “Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,” which debuted on Netflix in 2019.

Netflix announced it would develop an original series based on a Korean zombie webtoon. The streamer is partnering with director Lee JQ (“Beethoven Virus,” “Intimate Strangers”) to produce “All of Us Are Dead.”