Netflix breaks viewing record after ditching content deals
Netflix added a record seven million subscribers to its service in the last quarter of 2016 after ending several key content deals with top distributors.
Instead focussing on original content, the video streaming service far exceeded the 5.2m it had anticipated, and ended the year with 93.8m customers.
More than 600 hours of exclusive programming were produced over the last 12 months, including Netflix Originals series Stranger Things, Narcos, The Crown and The OA.
Stock has hit an all-time high of $133 a share, rising nine per cent, after the firm took $8.83bn in revenue – with a profit of $186.7m.
Rapid international expansion has seen the majority of new sign-ups coming from outside its native US – Netflix now serves 189 other countries.
In October last year, plans to produce 1,000 hours of original programming in 2017 were announced — up from 600 hours in 2016.
This expansion will require it to spend $6bn on content – $1bn more than 2016.
In a letter to investors, Netflix bosses wrote: “We launched original programming on Netflix in 2013 and in just four years, our original series accounted for five of the top 10 most searched TV shows of 2016 globally, including Stranger Things at #1, according to Google trends.”
Although it was noted a number of major broadcasters are catching-on to the 'non-linear' Netflix model.
The letter read: “The BBC has become the first major linear network to announce plans to go binge-first with new seasons, favouring internet over linear viewers.
“We presume HBO is not far behind the BBC. In short, it’s becoming an internet TV world, which presents both challenges and opportunities for Netflix as we strive to earn screen time.”