Netflix borrowed billions of dollars to rise from movies-by-mail start-up to global streaming giant, splurging on content to tempt ever more viewers to its platform and reporting breakneck growth that sent its stock price soaring.

Now the strategy that has taken it to the commanding heights of Hollywood is starting to look more shaky.

The company has posted the first drop in subscribers in its core US market since 2011, when the company split off its DVD business and prepared the transition to online video.

Its shares closed 10.3 per cent lower on Thursday after it revealed it had lost

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