Netflix goes from strength to strength. In the fourth quarter, the company added record-breaking 8.3 million new subscribers. The company expects Disney and Apple to emerge as direct competitors.
117 million members
Netflix continues to lure in new viewers across the world and it is clear that its plan to produce TV series, documentaries, and most recently blockbuster movies is paying off. The company now has 117.5 million subscribers, and many more viewers.
Netflix also has more international than US subscribers (57.8 vs 52.8 million). The company expects this trend to continue as it increases its focus on emerging markets across the world. It expects to add 6.35 million subscribers this quarter, of which 4.9 million will be international.
- “In Q4, we registered global net adds of 8.3 million, the highest quarter in our history and up 18% vs. last year’s record 7.05 million net adds. This exceeded our 6.3m forecast due primarily to stronger than expected acquisition fueled by our original content slate and the ongoing global adoption of internet entertainment.”
Apple & Disney to challenge Netflix
The numbers look incredibly strong but more importantly customers are buying into the Netflix promise. Netflix releases movies on the same day globally, refusing to conform to the decade-old theatrical window model.
‘Bright’ starring Will Smith appears to have been a major success for the company that expects to continue its heavy investments in original films.
- “Our largest investment in original films to date, Bright, a fantasy action movie starring Will Smith, was a major success and drove a notable lift in acquisition. In its first month, Bright has become one of our most viewed original titles ever. We’re thrilled with this performance and are planning a sequel as well as additional investment in original films.”
The transition from linear TV to streaming is just getting started so who can challenge Netflix? Amazon, Google, Facebook, Disney and... Apple, the company believes.
- “Amazon Studios is likely to bring in a strong new leader given their large content budgets, and Apple is growing its programming, which we presume will either be bundled with Apple Music or with iOS,” Netflix said in its quarterly report. “Disney is in the process of acquiring most of 21st Century Fox and plans to launch a direct-to-consumer service in 2019 with a beloved brand and great franchises. The market for entertainment time is vast and can support many successful services.”
The company expects to spend $7.5-8 billion on content this year and expects to release 80 movies, in addition to TV series, documentaries, comedy, and more.