Video-streaming service Netflix published its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2018 yesterday, and thus also the full calendar year.
The company ended 2018 with 139 million paying members, having added 29 million of them during the year. Its revenues grew by 35% year-on-year to $16bn, while its operating profits nearly doubled to $1.6bn. Netflix’s average quarterly revenue per paying user was just over $30 in the fourth quarter of 2018, up slightly from $29.70 a year before – even if you call that ‘flat’ it might still be compared flatteringly with ARPU trends at Spotify, which have been falling.
Unusually, Netflix revealed some viewing figures for its original content. For example, film ‘Bird Box’ will be watched “by over 80 million member households” in its first four weeks on Netflix, according to the company’s estimates. Meanwhile, original shows ‘You’ and ‘Sex Education’ will both be watched by around 40 million households in their first four weeks, according to Netflix’s predictions.
Another stat: in the US, Netflix claims that it earns “around 10% of television screen time”. And there was an interesting aside in its letter to investors about competition: “We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO,” reported Netflix.