Netflix cuts subscription prices across Middle-East and Asia to boost growth

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Streaming giant Netflix has announced it has cut prices of its subscription plans in some countries in an effort to maintain subscriber growth amid stiff competition and strained consumer spending. 

The move comes as the company is struggling to maintain its foothold in the increasingly crowded streaming market, where it faces intense competition from rivals such as Paramount+ and Disney+.

However, the news has caused concern among investors, with the company's stock falling nearly 5 per cent in response, underperforming the broader market and on course for its worst day in more than two months.

The price cuts took place in some countries in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The cuts apply to certain tiers of Netflix in those markets, with the cost of a subscription halved in some cases.

The company, which operates in over 190 countries, has been looking to grow its share in newer international regions as the US and Canada markets saturate. Earlier this month, it announced plans to crack down on password sharing for accounts on its streaming platform.

"We're always exploring ways to improve our members' experience. We can confirm that we are updating the pricing of our plans in certain countries," a spokesperson for the company said. The spokesperson did not give further details about the price cuts.

Over the last year, competition in the streaming industry has intensified as the lockdown-driven boost fades and fears grow over a looming recession. 

Netflix added about 7.6 million subscribers in the fourth quarter after bleeding subscribers in the first half of 2022, but average revenue per membership declined across regions in the last three months of 2022.

The price cuts could be a risky move for the streaming giant, which relies heavily on its subscription revenue to fund its content spending. However, it remains to be seen whether the move will pay off in the long term and help Netflix maintain its growth momentum in the face of fierce competition.

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