Netflix ended 2019 on a high, growing Q4 revenues 31% year-on-year and posting a full-year total of over $20 billion. Furthermore, it surpassed 100 million paid members outside the US in the fourth quarter.
In its latest set of result and accompanying call, the company was keen to emphasise that despite the launch of Disney+ and Apple TV+, it still grew its figures, both globally and in the US, in Q4. Furthermore, while many media companies and tech giants are now launching streaming services all over the world as linear TV wanes, it has a head start and will continue to build on it by focusing on pleasing its members.
CEO Reed Hastings ruled out the introduction of commercials on Netflix, adding that Google, Facebook and Amazon have and will continue to get the most online ad business. In his view, Netflix has the best business model moving forward.
Netflix also confirmed that it is currently testing its mobile only plan in three countries – India, Indonesia and Malaysia – and it will be tested in other markets.
Netflix had a net income of $587 million in Q4, down from $665 million in the previous quarter, and is projecting $750 million in Q1 this year. Its global streaming paid membership total stood at 167.09 million in Q4, up 20% on a year earlier, and is forecast to reach 174.09 million in this quarter.
The global net additions of 8.8 million in Q4 were on a par with those in the last quarter of 2018 and higher than the forecast of 7.6 million. There were also record paid net ads in EMEA, LATAM and APAC regions, while those in UCAN amounted to 0.55 million, of which 0.42 million were in the US, compared to 1.75 million a year earlier
Significantly, the company says it has seen a more muted impact to competitive launches outside than in the US.
Netflix also notes the success of The Witcher, which made its debut in December and is tracking to be its biggest season one TV series ever, being watched by 76 million member households in the first four weeks.
Furthermore, it has released figures that show a total of 73 million households worldwide have watched royal drama The Crown.
This is the first time it has revealed viewing data for the series about the British monarchy.
The third season, which stars Olivia Colman as the Queen, was watched in 21 million homes in its first four weeks.