SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Netflix’s video streaming service has surpassed 200 million subscribers for the primary time as its increasing line-up of TV collection and flicks continues to captivate folks caught at dwelling through the ongoing battle towards the pandemic.
The subscriber milestone highlighted Netflix’s fourth-quarter outcomes launched Tuesday. The service added one other 8.5 million subscribers through the October-December interval, capping Netflix’s greatest yr since its inception as a DVD-by-mail service in 1997. Netflix ended the yr with practically 204 million worldwide subscribers.
The fourth-quarter beneficial properties simply topped the projections of the roughly 6 million further subscribers projected by Netflix’s personal administration and Wall Avenue analysts. Netflix’s inventory surged by greater than 13% prolonged buying and selling after the most recent subscriber numbers got here out.
After its upending of the DVD-rental trade, Netflix launched the then-revolutionary idea of streaming TV exhibits and movies 14 years in the past. At the moment, its service had a mere 6 million subscribers.
The streaming service started to develop quickly seven years in the past when Netflix began producing its personal exhibits and accelerated a worldwide growth that now spans greater than 190 nations. For the reason that February 2013 debut of its first unique collection, “Home of Playing cards,” Netflix has attracted greater than 170 million further subscribers.
Netflix gained one other 37 million subscribers final yr, a 22% enhance from 2019. Its inventory fared even higher, rising by 67% final yr. The Los Gatos, California, firm now boasts a market worth of greater than $220 billion.
For all its success, Netflix nonetheless faces challenges within the coming years from bevy of deep-pocketed rivals, with maybe probably the most formidable posed by a extra skilled and even bigger leisure firm: Walt Disney Co.
After deciding to cease licensing its library to Netflix, Disney launched its personal video streaming service 14 months in the past. The service, Disney Plus, has proved way more standard than anybody imagined, accumulating practically 90 million subscribers in its first yr, emboldening the corporate’s administration to foretell that it’s going to boast as many as 260 million subscribers in some unspecified time in the future in 2024.
“Our technique is easy: if we are able to proceed to enhance Netflix day by day to raised delight our members, we could be their first selection for streaming leisure,” the corporate wrote Tuesday in its quarterly replace to shareholders. “This previous yr is a testomony to this strategy.”
To retain and entice subscribers, Netflix has been spending a lot cash on unique programming that the corporate often finally ends up shoveling out extra cash than its video providers brings in from its subscribers, though it has remained worthwhile beneath the accounting requirements allowed within the leisure trade.
The corporate earned $542.2 million on income of $6.64 billion within the fourth quarter, a comparatively skinny revenue margin.
However Netflix lastly stopped burning by money final yr, largely as a result of authorities restrictions imposed through the pandemic curtailed the manufacturing of programming. Netflix posted a optimistic money movement of $1.9 billion throughout 2020, the primary time that has the corporate hasn’t had a unfavourable money movement for a complete yr since 2011.
In one other breakthrough, Netflix predicted it would now not want to boost more money from lenders to assist finance its original-programming finances. The corporate mentioned it does not anticipate to expertise the identical drain on its money because it has for a lot of the previous decade, even because it ramps up manufacturing of its unique programming once more and gears as much as launch not less than one unique movie per week on its service all through this yr.
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