Netflix ended the year with extraordinary growth in all metrics, and the streaming giant is crediting its original content with its success.
The streaming service reached 117 million members worldwide during its incredible fourth quarter in 2017, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter. In that time, Netflix picked up 8.33 million new members. Nearly two million of those were in the U.S. alone, while 6.36 million were in international markets across the globe.
By contrast, Wall Street analysts only expected 1.29 million new subscribers in the U.S., and 5.05 million throughout the world. Even with those conservative estimates, Netflix was a hot commodity in the end of last year, but having exceeded expectations, it’s in a great place going forward.
Netflix’s revenue grew to a reported $3.29 billion, representing 33% growth in the fourth fiscal quarter. This translates to an added 41 cents per share in value, or a 25% rise in membership year over year.
The phenomenal quarter for Netflix came as they released some of their biggest original content of the year. Notably, new seasons of Stranger Things, The Crown and Black Mirror hit their catalogue in the final months of 2017, as well as their ambitions high-budget movie Bright. While the urban fantasy film got generally poor reviews, Netflix is counting it as a win, citing record-high streaming numbers. They’re moving forward with a sequel to the $90 million movie.
The streamer’s wins even outweighed its considerable losses in the past few months. Netflix dropped comedian Louis C.K. following his sexual assault allegation, and fired Danny Masterson from The Ranch following his. Kevin Spacey was also fired from his starring role in House of Cards, though Netflix ultimately decided to go forward with the series without him. All told, the company said that it lost $39 million on “unreleased content we've decided not to move forward with."
As always, Netflix is highly secretive about their data. However, the company says that it expects to gain another 6.35 million subscribers worldwide. To keep the momentum going, it’s prepared to spend $7.5 billion on new content in 2018.