Netflix surpasses 200 million subscribers for the first time

20 Janvier, 2021, 15:23 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Netflix's Lupin is its most popular show in more than a year

Aiming to extend this momentum through 2021, Netflix has announced a slate of 70 films to keep its new cohort of subscribers glued to their screens, picking up the slack left by an empty theatrical calendar.

Netflix however returned to form in the final quarter of the year, adding 8.5 million subscribers.

Netflix on Tuesday topped subscriber growth expectations in the past quarter, keeping ahead of new streaming rivals competing for viewers stuck in their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has been good for the streaming industry in general, but it's been really, really good for Netflix.

The company surged in the first half of 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with its performance peaking in Q1 as it added 15.8 million subscribers.

Netflix has invested heavily in original shows and films to make itself a must-have service in the increasingly competitive streaming market.

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Netflix ended 2020 on a high note, adding over 36 million subscribers and passing 200 million subscribers.

Netflix gained another 37 million subscribers a year ago, a 22% increase from 2019. Netflix's stock fared even better, rising by 67% a year ago.

After deciding to stop licensing its library to Netflix, Disney introduced its own video streaming service 14 months ago. The service, Disney Plus, has proved far more popular than anyone imagined, accumulating almost 90 million subscribers in its first year, emboldening the company's management to predict that it will boast as many as 260 million subscribers at some point in 2024.

"It's super-impressive what Disney's done", Netflix Co-Chief Executive Reed Hastings said in a post-earnings analyst interview. Disney's success, he added, "gets us fired up about increasing our membership, increasing our content budget".

The company however has warned that 2021 will see more modest growth.

Profits dipped to $542 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $587 million in the same period in 2019. The company said that most of its TV shows and films are back up and running, and that "we have learned that flexibility and adaptability are paramount in this fast-changing environment". The company said it doesn't expect to experience the same drain on its cash as it has for most of the past decade, even as it ramps up production of its original programming again and gears up to release at least one original film per week on its service throughout this year.

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