With growing streaming competition, Netflix could see a significant U.S. loss in subscribers next year, says one analyst.
Laura Martin, media analyst at Needham, says the big video streaming service could lose 4 million U.S. subscribers in 2020 in its premium tier -- those paying up to $16 a month.
At the end of the third quarter, Netflix posted 158 million total subscribers -- 60.62 million U.S. subscribers and 97.71 million international subscribers.
In the second quarter, U.S. subscribers fell by 130,000 -- the first time Netflix witnessed a decline since 2011. In the third quarter, U.S. subscribers rose by 520,000.
Martin says Netflix needs a lower-priced, advertising-supported monthly service to compete with the likes of Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, CBS All Access and others that would be priced between $5 and $7 a month.
She recommends that Netflix should offer up that lower-priced advertising-supported platform with six to eight minutes per hour of commercials. Netflix has long rejected the idea of adopting any advertising-supported platform.
In early morning trading, Netflix stock was down 1.7% to $297.49.