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Netflx Revenues Hit $7.5 Billion Thanks in Part to ‘Squid Game’

Netflix Inc. released its third-quarter earnings on Oct. 19, reporting strong earnings and subscription numbers the company ascribed to series like “Squid Game.”

Year-over-year growth for the streaming company rose 16.3% to $7.483 billion, amounting to higher revenues than in the second quarter ($7.342 billion), despite a higher percentage of growth (19.4%) in the previous quarter. The company gained 4.38 million paid subscribers in the period ending Sept. 30 after projecting only 3.5 million in gains.

Netflix credited the gains to pandemic-related production delays that lightened the company’s slate in the first two quarters, as well as and the third-quarter release of “Squid Game,” which is ranked No. 1 in 94 countries where Netflix is available. 

The company reported that the Korean-language drama series was its biggest TV show ever, with 142 million subscriber households watching it in its first four weeks of release. The metric for “watching” includes anyone who saw two or more minutes of an episode.

Netflix also announced that it would shift to reporting on hours viewed for its originals instead of the number of accounts that select them, as the company currently does. In late September, Netflix Co-Chief Executive and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos revealed the company's first top 10 rankings by hours viewed at Vox Media’s Code Conference in Beverly Hills, a decision he indicated was an effort “to be more transparent with talent, with the market” after years without sharing that data.

Reporting that the Asia-Pacific region contributed the most to subscriber growth for the second quarter in a row with 2.2 million paid net adds, the company offered a bullish forecast for overall fourth-quarter subscriber additions, predicting a total of 8.5 million in the final months of 2021. 

The company did not bring up the planned employee walkout set for Oct. 22 inspired by the escalating controversy around transphobic and homophobic content in Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special “The Closer,” which Netflix released Oct. 5.

Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based reporter and film critic with 20+ years of experience at dozens of print and online outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and Fangoria. An obsessive soundtrack collector, sneaker aficionado and member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Todd currently lives in Silverlake, California with his amazing wife Julie, two cats Beatrix and Biscuit, and several thousand books, vinyl records and Blu-rays.
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