- Netflix’s web-traffic growth fell during Q2, then rebounded at the tail end, Similarweb data showed.
- It suggests people are streaming less coming out of lockdowns but are keeping Netflix, for now.
- Netflix releases results for its second quarter on July 20.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
‘s web-traffic growth slumped during the second quarter, then rebounded at the tail end, data from analytics firm Similarweb suggests.
The second-quarter data suggests people may be streaming less coming out of the pandemic. But it may not dramatically impact Netflix’s subscriber growth because the drop in engagement doesn’t seem to be lasting long.
Similarweb tracks traffic from regions around the world to desktop and mobile websites, including Netflix.com. It captures a snapshot of Netflix’s user engagement, which also includes usage on connected TVs and mobile apps.
Unique visitors to Netflix’s desktop and mobile website grew 1% year-over-year — essentially remaining flat — compared with a 16% rise in unique visitors the year before, according to Similarweb.
In the US, which is Netflix’s oldest and largest market, unique visitors declined 8% from the second quarter of 2020.
A closer look at the data shows unique visitors picked up toward the end of the period, however.
Global unique visitors to Netflix.com fell 4% year over year in April, but were up 7% year over year in June, for example. The trend was similar in the US, although unique visitors were still down 4% year over year in June.
According to Similarweb, the data suggests that Netflix usage may be dropping off as markets reopen, but probably not enough to cause significant cancellations.
“As countries come out of lockdown, people are probably spending less time streaming, but this probably is not translating into such dramatic churn just yet,” Ed Lavery, director of investor solutions, said in a statement.
That said, the data could signal that Netflix needs to boost user engagement to prevent people from canceling at higher rates in the future.
Netflix told investors to expect a steep drop in subscriber growth during Q2
Netflix reports for the second quarter on July 20.
It has warned investors to brace for a steep fall-off in subscriber growth.
The company forecasted that it would add 1 million subscribers during the period, down from 10 million a year earlier and 4 million the prior quarter. It also missed subscriber-growth targets during the first quarter.
There are a few reasons for the growth decline.
Netflix has said its content output will be more back-loaded than usual this year because production pauses during the pandemic delayed some major releases.
The streaming service also posted a blockbuster first half of 2020 when people were stuck at home during the pandemic, and it expected a slowdown in the aftermath.
Macro forces may also be at play. The US was reopening during the second quarter, while other major markets including Brazil and India continued to be devastated by the pandemic. Competition from streamers like
and Disney+ is also intensifying as those US-born services expand around the world.
Netflix has said it doesn’t expect either competition or reopenings to have a huge impact on its growth, however.
“There was the initial surge of COVID, which was quite large in subscriber growth and viewing,” co-CEO Reed Hastings told investors last quarter. “But since then, every opening and closing … really didn’t generate any noticeable material effect.”
He also said: “There’s no real change that we can detect in the competitive environment. It’s always been high and remains high.”