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Netflix Subscriber Growth Slows as Economies Reopen

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Netflix Inc. said subscriber growth for the first quarter was weaker than expected, a potential warning sign for the company as consumers in many countries start to emerge from pandemic-related lockdowns and as streaming competition increases.

The company on Tuesday said it added another four million subscribers on a net basis globally between January and March, fewer than its forecast of six million.

“It’s just a little wobbly right now,” Netflix Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Reed Hastings said on the company’s video call to discuss results.

Netflix shares were 8.4% lower in after-hours trading. The stock is up nearly 26% over the last 12 months.

The subscriber gain in the first quarter was far below the 15.8 million increase from a year earlier, when the spread of the coronavirus was first intensifying and people were homebound and bingeing on content.

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