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Netflix earnings to set the pace for 2022 streaming wars

Netflix will be the first major streaming service to report earnings this week, offering investors a sign of whether companies have started to pull in enough new customers to justify big spending on online programming in 2022.

The dominant streaming service reports fourth-quarter results on Thursday (January 20). 

Wall Street will watch for how many customers Netflix picked up overseas as the pace of streaming growth levels off from torrid pandemic gains of 2020.

Wall Street is watching to see if the streaming wars are paying off as companies add high-profile and expensive shows such as Walt Disney new reality series with the Kardashian family, a “Lord of the Rings” series on Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video and a “Game of Thrones” prequel on AT&T Inc’s HBO Max.

Netflix raised prices last week in its biggest market, the United States and Canada, where analysts say growth is stagnating. 

The company went on a roller coaster ride during the pandemic, with steep growth early in 2020 when people were staying home and movie theaters were closed. 

The rate of new sign-ups fell in 2021 as pandemic restrictions eased and COVID slowed production of new programming. 

The company projected 8.5 million new streaming subscribers for October to December.

In 2022, Netflix’s growth is expected to stabilize, analysts say, putting it on track to return to subscriber gains logged before the pandemic. 

The company has new seasons of global phenomenon “Squid Game” and Emmy winner “The Crown” in the works, plus a large slate of movies.

(Production: Aleksandra Michalska)

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