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Business News/ Companies / Company Results/  Netflix adds over 13 million paid users worldwide in Q4, APAC subscribers cross 45 million
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Netflix adds over 13 million paid users worldwide in Q4, APAC subscribers cross 45 million

The rise in paid subscriber numbers for the American streamer is about 50% more than its quarter-ago numbers

Revenue in Q4 grew 12% year-on-year (YoY), or 13%, on a foreign exchange neutral basis, Netflix said. Photo: AP (AP)Premium
Revenue in Q4 grew 12% year-on-year (YoY), or 13%, on a foreign exchange neutral basis, Netflix said. Photo: AP (AP)

New Delhi: Netflix added 13.1 million paid subscribers globally in the fourth quarter of 2023, about 50% more than it did in the three months to September, buoyed by the success of its non-English language programming that included The Railway Men from India, which garnered 11.2 million views.

The American streamer, which does not disclose country-specific numbers, added 2.91 million paid subscribers in the Asia-Pacific region alone. With the record new additions, the total number of paid subscribers for the world’s largest premium video-streaming platform stood at 260.8 million at the end of 2023.

Its revenue grew 12% on year in October-December to $8.83 billion, helped by favourable foreign exchange rates and a strong growth in membership, the company said. The revenue growth was a reflection of the benefits of paid sharing, recent price changes, and a strong slate of shows, the company added. Average revenue per member (ARM) increased 1% year-on-year, in-line with expectations of “roughly flat year-over-year" ARM due to limited price increases over the last 18 months, as well as price reductions in some countries early in 2023, which were partially offset by price rises in the US, the UK and France in the last quarter of 2023.

“We largely put price increases on hold while we were rolling out the paid sharing work because we saw that as a form of substitute price increase. Now that we’re through that, we’re able to resume our…standard approach towards price increases," Gregory Peters, co-CEO, president and director, Netflix, said during an earnings call. “Those changes went well, better than we forecast. And we’ll continue to monitor other countries and try and assess when we’ve delivered enough additional entertainment value…so that we can go back to members and ask them to pay a bit more to keep that positive flywheel going," Peters added.

Over the past few months, Netflix has introduced password-sharing curbs in several markets, including India, in a move aimed at building scale as well as revenue growth. The company sends out emails to users who are using an account outside a single household, asking to transfer their profile to a fresh subscription.

A “Netflix Household" is a collection of devices connected to the internet at the main place where the service is watched, and can be set using a TV device. The clampdown involves the need to enter verification codes for access to the service for up to seven days, or connecting to a Wi-Fi network in the primary location at least once every 31 days.

Calling streaming a $600-billion-plus revenue market across pay TV, film, games and branded advertising, Netflix, in a letter to shareholders, said it accounts for only about 5% of that addressable market and its share of TV viewing is still less than 10% in every country. While it’s logical to expect further consolidation, mainly among companies with large and declining linear networks, it is not interested in acquiring linear assets, it added. Earlier this week, Netflix secured streaming rights for World Wrestling Entertainment’s Raw from January 2025. The deal that cost over $5 billion will span 10 years, and put Raw on Netflix in the US, Canada, Britain, and Latin America.

Calling it the sweet spot of the company’s sports business, Ted Sarandos, co-CEO, president and director, said that expanding into live event programming has been in the works, and fits into the platform’s $17-billion programming spend.

While building scale on advertising remains a priority, Peters said the company is looking at better targeting and improving ad relevance. Its ad-supported tier isn’t available in India yet. “We’ve got a ton of work ahead of us on getting to a level of maturity and impact…from the countries that we’re operating (the ad tier) in today. I would say, never say never on expanding beyond that, but it’s worth noting that the countries that we are currently operating in represent about 80% of global ad spend. We’ll see in the fullness of time, but we’ve got years of work ahead to take the ads business to the point where it’s a material impact to our general business," Peters added.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lata Jha
Lata writes about the media and entertainment industry for Mint, focusing on everything from traditional film and TV to newer areas like video and audio streaming, including the business and regulatory aspects of both. She loves movies and spends a lot of her free time in theatres, which makes her job both fun and a bit of a challenge given that entertainment news often just talks about the glamorous side of things. Lata, on the other hand, tries to find and report on themes and trends in the entertainment world that most people don't notice, even though a lot of people in her country are really into movies. She’s a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.
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Published: 24 Jan 2024, 07:50 AM IST
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