Netflix added 8.8 million paid subscribers in the last quarter of 2018, it announced Thursday. The company generated $4.1 billion in revenue in the quarter, with operating profits of $1.6 billion.
7.3 million of Netflix’s new subscribers were from outside of the U.S. The company said the total of 8.8 million new paid subscribers beat the 7.6 million it expected. Overall, the company added 29 million new paid subscribers in 2018, up 33% on the year before. It now has 139 million paid subscribers in total.
The company generated $4.1 billion in revenue during the quarter. This was up from $3.9 billion the quarter before and up 27.4% compared to the same quarter last year.
Focus on Original Content
Netflix, not surprisingly, put a large focus on its original content in its letter to investors. “The global reach of our audience and the quality of the experience produce for Netflix continues to attract the world’s top directors,” it said. The company also estimated that in the first four weeks of being available, new film Bird Box will be viewed in over 80 million member households. “Our multi-year plan is to keep significantly growing our content while increasing our revenue faster to expand our operating margins,” the company said
However, Wall Street was less enthusiastic about this heavy investment in content. Shares dropped 2.8% in the immediate aftermath of the announcement. Investors questioned whether Netflix’s spending on content and accumulation of debt had been justified by its results (via Guardian).
New Plans and Price Increases
Netflix said it would “continue to test new plan options (both below and above our existing offers) in certain markets.” The results announcement came just two days after the firm announced its biggest ever price rise since it started streaming. Its most popular plan will not cost $13 per month and its basic plan will cost $9 per month.