Netflix CEO Reed Hastings may have missed the real reason why U.S. subscriber numbers plunged

New research on how consumers react when they don’t know what to watch on their video-streaming service could help explain why Netflix is losing subscribers.

Netflix’s NFLX, -10.27% second-quarter earnings report Wednesday revealed fewer new subscribers than expected. But Nielsen’s analysis on viewing habits might help explain what consumers have been doing if they haven’t been buying Netflix subscriptions of late.

The company said it added 2.7 million subscribers across the globe in the second quarter. The company had predicted it would add nearly twice that (5 million subscribers) and analysts were disappointed. The company also lost 126,000 subscribers in the U.S.

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