A big gaffe committed by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade), the federal entity responsible for supervising and preventing abuses of economic power, revealed the number of subscribers to Netflix in Brazil - data handled by the platform streaming almost like a “black box”. Second document that should be kept private, but has been released to the public in a lawsuit, the service has a base of 19 millions of customers in the country.

The information about the leak was disclosed last Monday (11) during the manifestation of Neo TV, an association that represents small pay TV operators in Brazil – which together hold 2,5% of the market. The group delivered to Cade a text in which it criticized the fusion between WarnerMedia and Discovery, which could generate a monopoly, citing the argument that Netflix being a competitor of pay TV is not valid in Brazil yet.


"It is true that streaming platforms have conquered many customers in recent years, but it is also clear that a relevant portion of consumers considers OTT services (Over-the-top) as complementary to pay TV – Netflix, for example, has already been able to gain 19 million subscribers in Brazil alone”, the document stated.

Cade's Gafe opens Netflix's “black box” and reveals number of clients in Brazil. Image: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

To support the argument that streaming is not competing with pay TV, Neo has attached the file in which Netflix reveals the information. The document in question was used in another Cade process (which investigated the payment of volume bonuses for the advertising market made by Globo) and should have been kept confidential, as it was exclusive for the analysis of the federal autarchy, but it was made available publicly.

The problem at hand was that the confidential data was part of the private version of the Netflix demonstration, which could not be included in the public version. The numbers, however, are for January this year – which means that the 20 million customer mark has already been surpassed. 

Every company communicating with Cade sends two documents when summoned to manifest itself, one for publication on the internet for transparency purposes, and the other with restricted access only to interested parties.

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About the leak, both Cade and Netflix said they would investigate the facts, but would not comment on the case.

The number of subscribers, both in Brazil and in any other country in the world, is considered extremely confidential. The service has revealed several times that it does not make this type of disclosure very often, as it considers the protection of detail as a commercial strategy.

One of the only mentions was in September 2019, when the company admitted in a statement that it had broken the barrier of 10 million contracts in the country.

At the end of last year, Netflix revealed that it had surpassed the mark of 200 million subscribers in the world. In other words, with the revelation that Brazil had 19 million subscriptions in January 2021, it is possible to estimate that the country represented around 10% of the number of subscriptions.

Source: TV News

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