In our 20+ year history, we have never seen a future more uncertain or unsettling. The coronavirus has reached every corner of the world and, in the absence of a widespread treatment or vaccine, no one knows how or when this terrible crisis will end. What’s clear is the escalating human cost in terms of lost lives and lost jobs, with tens of millions of people now out of work.
At Netflix, we’re acutely aware that we are fortunate to have a service that is even more meaningful to people confined at home, and which we can operate remotely with minimal disruption in the short to medium term. Like other home entertainment services, we’re seeing temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth. In our case, this is offset by a sharply stronger US dollar, depressing our international revenue, resulting in revenue-as-forecast. We expect viewing to decline and membership growth to decelerate as home confinement ends, which we hope is soon.
By helping people connect with stories they love, we are able to provide comfort and escape as well as a sense of community during this pandemic. So our focus has been on maintaining the quality of our service while our employees around the world adapt to working from home.
For the most part, this has gone smoothly. Our product teams, for example, have been relatively unaffected. As a precaution, we have temporarily reduced the number of product innovations we try, while continuing to release features that we know will add meaningful value for our members, such as improved parental controls.
However, we have seen significant disruption when it comes to customer support and content production. On the customer support side, we’ve now fixed most of our work-from-home challenges. In addition, we’ve taken on another 2,000 agents (all working remotely), so our customer service levels are almost fully restored despite the increased demand.
When it comes to production, almost all filming has now been stopped globally, with the exception of a few countries like Korea and Iceland. This has been devastating for millions of workers in the TV and film industry - electricians, hair and make-up artists, carpenters and drivers who are often paid hourly wages and work project-to-project.
In March, we created a $100 million1 fund to help with hardship in the industry, starting with the hardest hit workers on our productions, where Netflix has the greatest responsibility. We will have paid these crews for about seven weeks, with the goal of providing a bridge until government safety nets kick in. In addition, we’re donating $30 million to third parties and non-profits, providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast across the broader TV and film industry in countries where we have a large production base.
This includes donations of $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation COVID-19 Disaster Fund2, the Motion Picture and Television Fund3 and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance4 in the US, and $1 million between the AFC5 and Fondation des Artistes6 in Canada. These are all well established hardship funds. In other countries where no such funds exist, we’ve been working to set them up, including in the UK (£1 million) with the British Film Institute7, in Italy (€1 million) with the Italian Film Commission8, in France (€1 million) with Audiens9, in Brazil
The following information was filed by Netflix Inc (NFLX) on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.