Netflix Now Has Over 200 Million Active Users

Posted on January 20, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Netflix with 3 Comments

As part of its latest quarterly earnings report, Netflix announced this week that it has surpassed the 200 million active user milestone.

“With 8.5 [million] paid net additions in [the fourth quarter of 2020], we crossed the 200 [million] paid memberships mark,” Netflix revealed in a letter to shareholders. “For the full year [2020], we added a record 37 [million] paid memberships, achieved $25 billion in annual revenue (+24 percent year over year)[,] and grew operating profit 76 percent to $4.6 billion.”

For the quarter ending December 31, 2020, Netflix posted a net income of $542 million on revenues of $6.6 billion. It ended the quarter with 203.3 million paying subscribers, with a year-over-year growth rate of 22 percent.

Netflix says that The Crown was its biggest series success of 2020, with over 100 million viewers since the first season debuted. The Queen’s Gambit was the biggest limited series in Netflix history, with over 62 million views in its first 28 days. And its biggest film was The Midnight Sky, starring and directed by George Clooney, with about 72 million views in just its first four weeks.

Netflix also reports that its original content production companies are “back up and running in most regions,” and that it has over 500 titles currently in post-production or ready to launch. The service plans to release at least one new original film every week in 2021. “We’re confident we’ll continue to have a great content offering for our members,” the letter notes.

Netflix also addressed the rise of new competitors like Disney+, plus less successful services like Apple TV+, HBO Max, and NBC Peacock.

“This signifies that these companies all recognize the future is streaming entertainment, a vision we have been working towards since inception,” the letter explains. “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. Disney+ had a massive first year (87 million paid subscribers!) [but] we [still] recorded the biggest year of paid [Netflix] membership growth in our history.”

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Netflix Now Has Over 200 Million Active Users”

  1. jbinaz

    Holy crap. The Midnight Sky is their #1 movie? At 51% of the critics and *26%* of the audience on Rotten Tomatoes, people must be desperate for content. I was excited by the trailer, but decided not to watch after seeing the reviews. Sure, I should probably watch and keep an open mind, but the consensus is pretty strong it's not good.

    (Side note about my take on Rotten Tomatoes: if the critics hate it and the audience loves it, it's probably a "fun watch." If both critics and the audience love it, it's probably pretty good. But if both don't love it? No way it's good.)

    • markld

      In reply to jbinaz:

      On your side note:

      I find if certain critics hate a movie, I will like it. I would say it's about 85% of the time. Going the other way, it's an even higher % it's like 95% of the time if they like a movie, I will hate it.

      Its mainly critics from the big media outlets.

      With audiences it does not have much of a pattern to it. Although Rotten Tomatoes is pretty close on some movies and really off on others.

      In about a 25 to 30 year period I have found it to be that way.

      Midnight Sky sounds like a load.

  2. oscar1

    You could think otherwise with the very dull production of series and films that Netflix released the last 1-2 years or so. And as a premium commenter wrote; Midnight Sky as the biggest film in 2020? Omg.

    Feels like people just went with the flow here, everybody has heard of Netflix and it is on every smart TV there is.

    • Paul Thurrott

      We spend a considerable amount of time watching Netflix, almost exclusively because of its excellent series and films, which are collectively the best in the market. So I'm not clear what you're talking about at all.