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Netflix cuts prices in some countries to boost subscriptions, shares drop

(Reuters) – Netflix Inc said Thursday it had cut the prices of its subscription plans in some countries as the streaming giant tries to maintain subscriber growth amid stiff competition and tense consumer spending.

The stock is down nearly 5%, underperforming the broader market and on track for its worst day in more than two months.

The past year has seen intense competition in the streaming industry as a pandemic-driven boom fades and consumers cut back on spending on fears of a possible recession, forcing companies to rethink their strategies.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, the price cuts have occurred in some countries in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia.

The cuts apply to certain tiers of Netflix in those markets: In some cases, the cost of a subscription has been cut in half, the Journal reported.

Netflix, which operates in more than 190 countries, has been looking to increase its share in new international regions as markets in the US and Canada become saturated. Earlier this month, it unveiled plans to crack down on password sharing for accounts on its streaming platform.

The company added about 7.6 million subscribers in the fourth quarter after losing subscribers in the first half of 2022 as rivals like Paramount+ and Disney+ raked in subscribers.

But average revenue per subscription declined across all regions in the last three months of 2022.

“We are always exploring ways to improve the experience for our members. We can confirm that we are updating the prices of our plans in some countries,” said a company spokesperson.

The spokesman did not provide further details on the price cuts.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bangalore; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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