Daily business and finance update 21st July 2023
Netflix password payoff
Good morning. Today we're talking about Netflix password crackdown pays off, Nigel Farage gets an apology from Coutts and the competition watchdog warns supermarkets on pricing.
Netflix password payoff
Netflix added nearly 6m subscribers in the last quarter, attributing the stronger-than-expected growth to its password crackdown that led to less account sharing and more signups. The results represent a swift turnaround for the streaming giant as this time last year, it reported a second straight quarter of subscriber losses for the first time in its history. But the company’s revenue fell short of expectations, and Netflix said in a letter to shareholders, “While we’ve made steady progress this year, we have more work to do to reaccelerate our growth.” It plans to do this by driving signups to its ad-supported tier, which generates more revenue per member than the costlier basic and standard tiers due to advertising revenue. To drive the adoption, Netflix scrapped its cheapest ad-free tier for new subscribers in the US and UK this week.
Coutts Farage apology
Coutts, the private bank owned by NatWest Group, has apologised to Nigel Farage after it was revealed that he had been the subject of "deeply inappropriate" comments in internal documents. The comments, which were made by Coutts staff, suggested that the former UKIP leader’s account had been closed because his political views did not align with the bank's “values." In a letter to Farage, NatWest CEO, Dame Alison Rose, said that the comments were "completely unacceptable" and that she was "deeply sorry" for any offense they had caused. Rose also said that the bank had commissioned an independent review of its policies on account closures and that it would be making changes to ensure that this type of incident did not happen again.
Supermarket pricing warning
The Competition and Markets Authority has told supermarkets to make their pricing clearer to help shoppers find the best deals. The watchdog said that unclear pricing could be making it difficult for people to compare products, especially as food prices rise. The CMA found that some supermarkets were using different unit measurements for the same products, making it difficult to compare prices. For example, some stores were pricing teabags per 100g, while others were pricing them per teabag. The CMA's intervention comes at a time when food price inflation remains at historically high levels - 17.3% in June.
Closing down: Virgin Money has announced plans to close 39 banks across the UK as more Brits move to online banking.
Mortgage hope: Borrowers received a glimmer of good news after average rates on new fixed mortgages fell for the first time since May.
Valuation boost: Kim Kardashian’s underwear label Skims is now worth $4bn after it raised $270m from investors.
Pricing considerations: Tesla boss Elon Musk says the electric carmaker could continue to cut prices as the world economy is in "turbulent times".
The price that a first-edition 2007 iPhone fetched at auction this week, nearly 400 times its original price.
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