Netflix: Bridgerton and The Crown support streaming of top 200 million subscribers as lockdowns drive record growth in business news
Netflix has gained more than 200 million subscribers after consumers who stayed at home during the pandemic contributed to a record year of growth in 2020.
The US company, which pioneered streaming in 2007, announced that it added, better than expected, 8.5 million new paying customers in the final quarter of the year, to total 203.7 million.
For the whole year, Netflix 37 million subscribers were added, including 15.8 million in the First quarter Revenue alone increased 24% to $ 25 billion and profits increased 48% to $ 2.76 billion.
It was helped by the success of new dramas like The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton, as well as the latest series from The crown.
Netflix said that in an “incredibly difficult year” it “provided our members around the world a source of escape, connection and joy as they continued to build our business”.
Most of the growth – 83% of new customers – came from outside the largest US and Canadian market. Another six million should register in the current first quarter.
Shares rose nearly 13% after the close of trading as the company forecast it would no longer need to borrow billions to fund its big budget movies and TV series and said it would look into returning cash to shareholders.
Netflix is facing stiff competition from the likes of Disney – whose Disney + service gained 87 million subscribers in just under a year.
In the meantime, Hollywood studio Warner Bros has left the Hollywood Convention by announcing this would send all 2021 films in addition to theaters direct to HBO Max.
Reed Hastings, co-managing director of Netflix, described Disney’s performance as “super impressive” and added that his success “is driving us to grow our membership and increase our content budget”.