Netflix crosses 200M subscribers after biggest year of growth; 'The Crown' most-watched series

Netflix added a record number of subscribers in 2020 as the pandemic forced people to stay indoors, and the demand for streaming services skyrocketed.
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Netflix's subscriber base has crossed 200 million after the video-streaming giant added a record 37 million subscribers in 2020 — its biggest ever year of growth.

It now has 203.1 million subscribers after adding 8.51 million users in Q4 alone, as per its earnings statement. Netflix gained from the global surge in OTT adoption, following the COVID-19 outbreak, which restricted travel and outdoor entertainment.

Its revenues increased 21.5 percent to $6.64 billion in Q4. The company forecasts revenues of $7.13 billion and new subscriber additions of six million in Q1 2021. Netflix's stock soared 13 percent on Tuesday after it beat investor estimates.

Netflix acknowledged its growing competition in a letter to shareholders, and said that the "future is streaming entertainment, a vision we have been working towards since inception."

“Our strategy is simple: if we can continue to improve Netflix every day to better delight our members, we can be their first choice for streaming entertainment. This past year is a testament to this approach," it added.

The Crown Season 4 was the most-watched series in 2020

Netflix spent close to $12 billion in content development in 2020. Its most-watched series in Q4 was The Crown Season 4. The latest season helped push total viewers of the show to over 100 million since its initial launch, the company revealed.

The Queen's Gambit, meanwhile, was watched by 62 million households in its first four weeks, making the chess-themed show Netflix's most-watched original 'limited' series to date.

Netflix added that it has more than 500 titles in post-production or “preparing to launch.” This includes its film slate of 71 titles. The platform looks to release at least one film per week in 2021.

The streaming leader's record year of growth comes at a time when it faces increased competition from the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, AppleTV+, Hulu, HBO Max, Discovery Plus, Paramount Plus, and several other players in foreign markets.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings credited Disney Plus for racking up 87 million subscribers in just a year. "It's super impressive what Disney has done," he said, adding, "It is going to be great for the world that Disney and Netflix are competing, show by show, movie by movie."

Edited by Suman Singh

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