Netflix subscriber and revenue growth beat expectations

Streaming service now has 167.1 million subscribers globally.

Netflix: outperforming expectations
Netflix: outperforming expectations

Netflix grew its subscriber base by 8.8 million in the last three months of 2019 – well ahead of its forecast of 7.6 million.

The streaming service now has 167.1 million subscribers globally, according to its fourth-quarter earnings report.

Netflix reported stronger-than-expected financial results, too, with $5.47bn (£4.19bn) in revenue for the final quarter of last year (up 31% year on year). Wall Street estimates were aggregated at $5.45bn.

The company is also more profitable than this time last year. It posted an operating income of $459m, compared with $218m for the same three-month period in 2018. Adjusted Ebitda reached $586m, from $328m in the 2018 fourth quarter. 

Netflix is facing increased competition in the streaming TV market, with the launch of Disney+ in the US and Apple TV+ last year. Disney yesterday (Tuesday) brought forward the UK launch of its streaming service by a week to 24 March. HBO and NBCUniversal will also roll out direct-to-consumer platforms this year. 

In a letter to shareholders, Neflix insisted that there is "ample room for many services to grow as linear TV wanes". 

However, user growth does appear to be slowing. Netflix is predicting seven million net additions in the first quarter of 2020, compared with 9.6 million a year earlier, with the company citing subscription-price increases last year and "slightly elevated churn levels we are seeing in the US". 

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