Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) added 8.5 million more paying subscribers in Q4 2020 to take its total paying subscribers past 200 million.
Netflix tops analysts’ new subscriber estimates in Q4
Despite growth slowing as the pandemic eases, the streaming giant managed to top Wall Street estimates of 6.03 million subscribers in Q4 and added 8.51 million paying subscribers. However, this was lower relative to Q4 2019 when the company added 9 million subscribers. The 200 million marks for paying subscribers is a huge milestone for the company which cements its dominance in the industry after almost a decade of preparation.
Netflix is doing well compared to rivals such as Disney+ which is a breakout hit in the streaming wars gained 86.8 million subscribers on its first year of launch. On the other hand, Disney’s Hulu service which has been around for almost a decade but only operates in the US has 38.8 million paying subscribers while HBO Max has 12.6 million active user accounts.
Investors have been flocking the stock due to its unexpectedly strong growth during the pandemic and solid financials. The company has a solid balance sheet and considers stock buybacks and will not be borrowing money to fund its daily operations.
Netflix lining up more new original films in 2021
In the fourth quarter, growth slowed compared to previous quarters capping a year of soaring popularity. The streaming behemoth added record new paying subscribers in the first there months of 2020 as people turned to stream content for entertainment due to COVID-19 restrictions. In December, its original show “Bridgerton” produced by Shonda Rhimes was received with a lot of fanfare becoming Netflix’s fifth-biggest original series behind “The Witcher” and “Stranger Things.” The show premiered on Christmas and in the first 28 days around 63 million households had watched it.
Netflix expects several shows to debut on the platform this year with plans to release an original film every week. In October the company raised its subscription prices and this will help in offsetting costs related to the production of new original content.