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(Bloomberg) -- South Korean dystopian hit ‘Squid Game’ has helped make Asia a lone bright spot for Netflix Inc., which added more than 1 million subscribers in the region last quarter, even as the streaming service’s total audience declined for the first time in a decade.
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‘Squid Game,’ in which a group of indebted people compete in deadly versions of childhood games to win life-changing money while super-rich VIPs watch, became Netflix’s biggest launch ever. That success has spawned a deeper push into Asian content, including the Korean zombie series “All Of Us Are Dead” that took off this year.
Netflix shares plunged about 25% in extended trading after saying it lost 200,000 customers in the first quarter -- the first time it has shed subscribers since 2011. The company also said it expects to shed 2 million more this quarter.
The company lost customers in three of its four regions, including more than 600,000 in the U.S. and Canada. It blamed most of that attrition on a price increase, and said the decline was expected. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine cost the company another 700,000 customers when it had to pull its service in Russia, resulting in a loss of 300,000 customers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
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In contrast, Asia-Pacific subscribers rose 1.09 million to 33.7 million.
“We’re making good progress in APAC where we are seeing nice growth in a variety of markets including Japan, India, Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan,” management wrote in a letter to shareholders.
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