Netflix published its latest quarterly financial results yesterday, including its full-year figures for 2019. In that year, the company’s revenues reached $20.16bn, with its Q4 total of $5.47bn representing 30.6% growth year-on-year. Netflix ended 2019 with 167.1 million global streaming paid memberships, up 20% year-on-year having added nearly 8.8 million net new subscribers in the final quarter of the year.
“Excluding a -$133 million impact from foreign currency, streaming ARPU rose 12% year over year,” reported Netflix in its letter to shareholders. Despite its huge investment in content (both licensed and original) Netflix continues to be a profitable business, reporting net income of $587m in Q4 compared to $134m a year ago. However, Netflix did admit to some competitive pressures: in North America, it only added 0.55m net paid subscribers last quarter “probably due to our recent price changes and to US competitive launches”. That’ll be Disney+ and Apple TV+ then – if you were in any doubt about Netflix’s sensitivity on that front, note the inclusion in its letter of a graph comparing the Google search trends for its latest flagship show The Witcher to Disney’s The Mandalorian, Apple’s The Morning Show and Amazon’s Jack Ryan. Viewing figures would, of course, be the better comparison, but they’re in short supply for those rivals – although Netflix says 76 million households chose to watch The Witcher.