Tuesday, June 15, 2021

It All Boils Down to COVID

"Netflix’s subscriber growth, stock zapped as pandemic eases" by Michael Liedtke Associated Press, April 21, 2021

SAN RAMON, Calif. — Netflix’s pandemic-fueled subscriber growth is slowing far faster than anticipated as people who have been cooped at home are able to get out and do other things again.

The video-streaming service added 4 million more worldwide subscribers from January through March, its smallest gain during that three-month period in four years.

The performance reported Tuesday was about 2 million fewer subscribers than both management and analysts had predicted that Netflix would add during the first quarter.

It marked a huge comedown from the same time last year when Netflix added nearly 16 million subscribers. That came just as governments around the world imposed lockdowns that created a huge captive audience for the leading video-streaming service.

The inevitable slowdown in subscriber growth had been widely telegraphed by Netflix’s management in repeated reminders that its gains were a pandemic-driven anomaly.

Now that a large swath of the US population has been vaccinated, people are able to move around more freely and are finding other diversions besides watching TV series and movies on Netflix.

“It all boils down to COVID,” Spencer Neumann, Netflix’s chief financial officer, said Tuesday.

The big question is how big this year’s decline will be from last year’s full-year increase of 37 million worldwide subscribers — by far the biggest since Netflix expanded its DVD-by-rental service into video streaming 14 years ago.

Third Bridge analyst Scott Kessler speculated this year’s sluggish start may pressure Netflix management to make changes in its pricing or fine-tune its strategy to help boost its growth from one quarter to the next. “Or will the company continue to focus on the longer term?” Kessler wondered.

Netflix management sought to reassure investors in a letter that predicted subscriber growth would improve during the second half of the year as more TV series and movies that had to be delayed during the pandemic are finished and released, but what happened during the first quarter signals Netflix may be headed toward a lackluster year. The last time Netflix started a year with a lower gain — 5.3 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2017 — the service ended up with an annual increase of 21.6 million subscribers.

Netflix management doesn’t make annual growth projections, maintaining that it’s difficult enough to predict how many subscribers its service will add from one quarter to the next. Besides no longer benefiting from people being stuck at home most of the time, Netflix is also facing more competition than ever from a wide range of video-streaming services from major companies such as Disney, Apple, and HBO.

Netflix, though, remains far ahead of the rest of the pack, with nearly 208 million worldwide subscribers. It also benefits from an award-winning lineup of shows that include still-popular series such as “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” and “Ozark,” with more potential hits always brewing in a video factory that plans to spend $17 billion on programming this year alone.

Both Hastings and Neumann downplayed the impact of tougher competition in their comments Tuesday.

“There is this big runway of growth if we stay focused and keep getting better,” Neumann said.

A large portion of Netflix’s programming has been been financed by debt, but the company no longer expects to have to borrow to foot those bills. What’s more, Netflix is now bringing in more cash than it is burning, something it has rarely done.

After posting a positive cash flow of $1.9 billion last year, Netflix expects to break even this year......

I don't $ub$cribe to Netflix and am not interested in the pedophile filth they promote, sorry.


The TSA will have to start roughing them up, and they shouldn't be going on a plane anyway.

"General Electric and Safran are teaming up to develop technologies for a new generation of jet engines, seeking a breakthrough that would cut fuel consumption by more than 20 percent and potentially power single-aisle planes by the middle of next decade. The demonstration program will focus on a so-called open fan architecture, in which the engine’s blades operate without a traditional casing, as well as other techniques to boost efficiency. The longtime joint-venture partners in CFM International Inc. will also pursue hybrid-electric technology and make the engine fully compatible with sustainable aviation fuels and hydrogen. The GE-Safran effort offers the clearest signal yet of how global aerospace giants will seek to shrink their carbon footprints. Boeing and Airbus are under mounting pressure as governments crack down on carbon emissions that spur climate change. Much of that task will fall on engine manufacturers such as GE, Rolls-Royce, and Raytheon Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney unit. Boston-based GE’s stock fell 1.6 percent. The partners also extended their joint venture to 2050. The new project with GE comes after work by Paris-based Safran on “open-rotor” engines, an approach that breaks with the turbofan design because the propeller blades operate without a surrounding casing, or nacelle. Boeing and Airbus have often timed all-new aircraft to engine technology that provides a step-change in efficiency....."

Also see:

We are now told the FBI got all the ran$omware extortion back, making the entire tale even more brazen in terms of the actual perps, and now that you are back on land:

"The president of General Motors says his company plans to announce more US battery factories later this week. Mark Reuss gave no details of where the factories would be located or exactly what they would manufacture. Company spokesman Jim Cain wouldn’t comment Monday on the announcements, but noted GM previously stated it would build more factories to add battery capacity as electric vehicles grow in sales. GM has set a goal to stop selling internal-combustion passenger vehicles by 2035. The factories would be in addition to two battery cell plants that the company announced in the past two years, both geared to ramp up production as GM rolls out 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2025, with more than two-thirds sold in North America."