Netflix smashes subscriber targets, even as it puts its prices up

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Netflix enjoyed a surge of subscribers at the end of 2023 against a backdrop of password crackdowns and advertising expansion.

On the day that it snared a few more Oscar nominations to add to its cabinet, Netflix revealed that it had enjoyed a very, very happy Christmas.

Numbers have come in for the last three months of 2023, and it had been expected to add in the region of 8 million subscribers worldwide. After all, the last three months of the year do tend to be the most lucrative, and Netflix had lined up a fair few big hitters to try to part people from their money.

It really worked. The subscriber numbers for Netflix soared at the end of 2023, to a global total of 260.3 million people. That’s an increase of 13 million from the autumn, and firmly cements Netflix as the top streaming service by that metric.

Typically, Wall Street investors weren’t too happy, and of course they play the tune that Netflix must dance to. As per Deadline’s report, Netflix had been expected to make $8.71bn of revenue in the last three months of 2023, and it only just beat that total. Oh no, that’s awful news. We must hold a collection for them.

The increases came as Netflix put up subscription prices too, and also started the roll-out of more advertising across its platform. 2023 was also the year that it began a crackdown on people sharing their passwords, and the signs are that these measures – not all of them popular with people who don’t check share prices each time they fart – are working.

Netflix’s future growth looks tied to its continued expansion into advertising, and the suggestion is that the subscriber growth Netflix is currently enjoying is being fuelled by the cheaper subs options that have advertising built in.

Expect other streamers to look at Netflix, and basically copy a model that’s still working. As most of them seem to be doing already…

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