THE REAL STORY BEHIND THE NETFLIX MISS

Netflix

Netflix missed its forecasted subscriber growth by a million people for the 2nd quarter, causing a slowing of its momentum for the year.  To hear Netflix tell it, their forecasts really weren’t their forecasts . . . or, something like that.

They blamed the big miss on “faulty internal forecasting methods.”  Oh, really – ?  Wow – with a miss that big, they might as well close up their forecasting shop if they actually are missing that badly.  (For full disclosure, I should tell you that I worked as a professional forecaster for several years – and, if my forecasts had ever missed by that great a number, I and my forecasting team would have been out the door!)  In other words, as a former forecaster,  I don’t believe their excuses for a minute!  What actually happened was that the bottom dropped out of their subscriber numbers after the forecasting numbers had been issued. I have been told that Netflix, once they signed on the great Obamas for an extended gig, experienced a huge subscriber defection – unlike any in modern history.  Of course, they’re not about to admit that as the reason for the dramatic drop in the actual numbers versus the forecasts.  But, just know this – this is the actual timeline:  1) Forecasts for upcoming subscriber growth are issued early in Quarter 1 for Quarter 2; 2) Those famous personalities were signed on; 3) Current subscribers ran for the hills in droves; 4) Ergo, a huge drop in current subscribers, when factored in with whatever growth they achieved for this quarter, was bound to cause a lessening of “subscriber growth”  – it would have meant that they would have not only needed a growth equal to the one that they had expected originally, but also an additional, huge number that made up for the defection of current subscribers.  QED.

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