Netflix post new subscriber numbers, TV up, film down?

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The market leader in the streaming wars has posted impressive growth this year – and may even be moving into a model of profitability soon.

Netflix has posted strong growth in the final months of the year, soaring past 200m  subscribers worldwide. Just to give that staggering number some context, rival streaming platform Disney+ has 87m (achieved in a very short time though) whilst US-only HBO Max, owned by Warner Bros, has only 12m.

Whilst the pandemic has naturally driven audiences towards material they can watch from the comfort of their own homes, Netflix’s growth had slowed considerably in the second part of the year. These numbers though, represent a mightily-impressive end-of-year surge. The company is even forecasting that it will break even in 2021 rather than losing money.

As you might know, Netflix’s business model currently operates at a hefty loss because investment is geared towards growth and creation of new titles to spur that growth. Its net loss in 2019 was $1.5b (that’s a ‘b’ folks, not an ‘m’). However, with growth in 2020 being so strong, the streaming giant posted (according to Collider) posted a loss of just $138m in 2020 and may even reverse that trend into profit in 2021.

But what of those new titles that drive growth for Netflix?

According to the same report, Netflix claimed nine of the top ten spots for Google searches when it came to TV shows in 2020. However, film was a different story, with the company only getting two out of the top ten. Whether this means Netflix will widen its film output moving forwards remains to be seen, or perhaps focus on TV where it’s clearly enjoying immense success.

Either way, the streaming wars are set to intensify in 2021, but with growth figures that are this healthy, Netflix continues to find itself in a position of great strength.

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