Netflix blew past its own expectations for subscriber growth by adding a record 8.84 million subscribers in Q4 2018. The company has also started sharing viewing statistics for some movies, saying that Bird Box has been watched by over 80 million households.
Netflix stats for Q4 2018
Netflix has stopped reporting how many users are on the free trial plan to focus on paying members instead. It had expected to add 7.6 million new paid subscribers in Q4 2018 but ended up adding 8.84 million, which is a record. And it expects to add even more in Q1 2019, specifically 8.9 million.
Netflix now has a total of 139.26 million paid subscribers and it may surpass 150 million before Apple, Disney, and WarnerMedia enter the arena.
More interestingly, the company has sharing viewing statistics for some of its hit movies and TV series. An account must complete at least 70% of a movie or a TV series first episode to be counted, it was said. In the past, Netflix has been notoriously tight-lipped about its viewership numbers.
We have included the viewership numbers below:
Bird Box has been watched by over 80 million households in the first four weeks (45m in first week).
Elite has been watched by over 20 million households in the first four weeks.
Bodyguard, Baby, and The Protector have each been watched by over 10 million households in the first four weeks.
You was launched three weeks ago and is it is estimated that it will be watched by over 40 million households in the first four weeks.
Sex Education was launched one week ago and is it is estimated that it will be watched by over 40 million households in the first four weeks.
Fortnite is bigger competitor than HBO
The company added that it now earns around 10% of TV time in the US but less in other markets. They see Fortnite as a bigger competitor than HBO. Netflix also argues that its film strategy is expanding the market rather than taking away share from theaters, highlighting that Roma is still being exhibited in theaters five weeks after the online debut. The North American box office set records in 2018.
Looking forward in 2019, Netflix highlighted some of its biggest upcoming and confirmed releases, including The Irishman from Martin Scorsese, The Umbrella Academy, Triple Frontier, 6 Underground from Michael Bay, The Politician from Ryan Murphy as well as new seasons of The Crown, 13 Reasons Why, Las Casa de Papel, Elite, and Stranger Things.
Netflix seems almost unstoppable but has at the same time accrued a large debt of more than $10 billion in long-term debt plus almost the same amount in content liabilities for future content releases. The company said that going forward it expects growing revenue faster than content investments to improve operating margins. In Q4 2018, Netflix had revenue of close to $4.2 billion and net income of $134 million.