Netflix's miss could be an anomaly or it could mark the end of a booming era for the streaming giant.
If this is true, then Netflix could reverse course with an upcoming "The Irishman" by Michael Scorsese, "Michael Jackson's" 6 Underground, "and the return of some of his acclaimed hit series like" The Crown "and" Orange is the New Black, "all of which could encourage new sign- ups in coming months.
But is all this content enough to fend off the competition waiting at the gates? ) Apple ( AAPL WarnerMedia are entering NBCUniversal and CNN's parent company the market in the next year and they bring with them their own slate of what they hope will be a must-see TV.
"Netflix will continue to make huge investments and take greater risks to finding original hits to bring in and keep them," said Jill Rosengard Hill, executive vice president of research-based media firm Magid. That's challenging because "there's just so much good content out there," she said.
This week's Emmy nominations are a telltale sign that legacy media is coming for Netflix, Hill said.
"WarnerMedia, Disney and NBCUniversal is now fully awake and is preparing and enhancing their streaming product anywhere and anytime for consumers, "Hill said.
Loup Ventures founder partner Gene Munster told CNBC on Wednesday that Netflix's best days "are in fact behind it."
"This is negative, and I think we're going to look back at this quarter as one of the pivotal moments in the Netflix story," Munster told CNBC
BTIG media analyst Rich Greenfield has a more positive outlook
"There's this view that Netflix is collapsing, but it has raised prices by about 20% and its subscriber count was basically unchanged," Greenfield told CNN Business. "How many companies can raise the price by 20% and keep growing?"
The streamer passed 150 million subscribers in Q2, but severally under-delivered on new paid sign-ups, adding 2.7 million out of the 5 million that analysts expected. It lost 130,000 subscribers in the United States. Netflix's $ 1 to $ 2 price increase was announced at the beginning of the year and came into effect over the next few months.
The company said the "missed forecast was across all regions, but slightly more so in regions with price increases."
In its letter to shareholders Wednesday, Netflix said that while its US paid membership was "essentially flat," the company expects it to "return to more typical growth" in the third quarter. It expects to add another 7 million subscribers in Q3
Missing from this quarter's tally is the return of the hit series "Stranger Things," launched on Netflix in Q3. It attracted 26.4 million unique viewers in the first four days of its release in the United States, according to Nielsen data. It was "the most watched Netflix original series we've ever analyzed," according to the viewership data company