Netflix has already lost a big number of subscribers, signalling trouble ahead for the industry as rising prices of food and gas left people with little to spend on entertainment.

Netflix is already considering a cheaper subscription that includes advertising, following the success of similar offerings from rivals HBO Max and Disney+.
Netflix is already considering a cheaper subscription that includes advertising, following the success of similar offerings from rivals HBO Max and Disney+. (Reuters)

Netflix shares have declined by 5 percent after Goldman Sachs downgraded the streaming pioneer over risks of slower consumer spending and tough competition from Amazon and Walt Disney Co.

Goldman downgraded the stock to "sell" from "neutral" and slashed its price target to $186 from $265, the lowest PT among analysts covering the stock, data from Refinitiv showed on Friday.

In April, Netflix lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade, signalling trouble ahead for the industry as rising prices of food and gas left people with little to spend on entertainment.

Suspending its services in Russia after the Ukraine invasion also took a toll on Netflix.

The brokerage also lowered its ratings on e-commerce platform eBay Inc and online gaming firm Roblox Corp to "sell" from "neutral". Roblox and eBay shares fell nearly 4 percent in afternoon trading.

Netflix is now a "show-me story", Goldman said, as it cut revenue estimates for 2022-2023.

'Cost of living crisis'

That sent Netflix shares down 4.6 percent at $184.06 in midday trading on Friday, adding on to this year's 68 percent slump.

"The cost of living crisis will have a major impact on all streaming services. Let's not forget the market is now awash with too many streaming media services chasing too few services," said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight.

"Expect some to pivot more towards a yearly discounted bundle to entice users and increase loyalty."

Netflix is already considering a cheaper subscription that includes advertising, following the success of similar offerings from rivals HBO Max and Disney+.

The median price target of the 48 analysts covering the Netflix stock is at $297.50, down from $502.50 in March. 

READ MORE: Russia-Ukraine conflict contributes to fall in Netflix subscribers

Source: Reuters