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Media & Entertainment

Netflix sales and subscribers soar 150% in Asia over 2 years

Region marked biggest growth area for US video streamer amid struggles at home

Netflix recently hosted an animation event in Japan, where the company has seen a significant increase in subscribers. (Photo by Hideki Shinohara)

NEW YORK -- U.S. video streaming giant Netflix has seen sales and subscribers in Asia, Europe and the Middle East skyrocket over the past two years, despite struggling at home.

Regional data disclosed by the company covering the first quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2019 revealed Asian sales hitting $382 million and paid subscribers at 14.48 million -- a 150% increase from two years ago.

Although Asia accounts for 9% of total subscribers, the region marked the highest growth for Netflix, one of the world's largest video streaming services.

The drama "Zenra Kantoku" (The Naked Director) and anime themed on the Sanrio Aggretsuko character helped drive growth in Japan. Netflix is also making inroads into South Korea with "Kingdom" and other original content while in India, its "Sacred Games" has been a huge draw.

In Europe and the Middle East, sales rose 130% to $1.42 billion from two years ago while subscribers doubled to 47.35 million. The two regions account for 30% of Netfilx subscribers.

Sales and subscribers in Latin America jumped 70% and 60%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Netflix is slipping in its home market as competition heats up. Subscriber growth in the U.S. declined for the first time in eight years in the April-June quarter. In North America, including Canada, subscribers totaled 67.11 million, up only 18% from two years ago.

The company has been in a race with Amazon.com's Prime Video and Hulu, but now faces new challenges from Walt Disney and its Disney Plus service, which launched in November and gained over 10 million subscribers on the first day.

Apple also joined the video streaming fray the same month with Apple TV Plus, hoping to cash in on its vast customer base for smart devices and computers.

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