Netflix is now the first subscription video service to surpass 200 million subscribers.
The company revealed that as 2020 came to a close, it added 8.52 million more subscribers in Q4, making the total number of subscribers gained in 2020 to 37.7 million; this surpassed Netflix’s original estimated gains of 6 million new subscribers.
By reaching a total of 203.6 million people who subscribe to them, Netflix continues its reign as the world’s biggest subscription video service.
The company saw a huge growth in subscriber count during the first half of 2020. Within the first three months of the year, Netflix added the most subscribers that it had ever seen. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the amount of people staying home to social distance, the growth of its subscriber count does not come as a surprise.
Michael Nathanson of research company MoffettNathanson said that COVID-19 has been beneficial to the company. He went on to say that “While the pandemic clearly worked to Netflix’s advantage, the company had been preparing for a streaming-first world for more than a decade now.”
Additionally, the service created an influx of original content over the last 12 months that helped bring these subscribers; with the Tiger King documentary and shows such as The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton and Emily in Paris, Netflix became a streaming destination for viewers all over the world.
With creating such a great amount of content, however, Netflix did increase their subscription prices in October; this affected its standard plan and premium plan.
Bringing the Competition
While Netflix broke records with its new subscriber count, several other streaming sites came to play during the past year.
After they stopped licensing their library to Netflix, Disney came out with their own streaming service, Disney+. As of now, it currently has around 86 million subscribers. And while the service started out with previously-released shows and films, it has since added a plethora of original content; this includes High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, The Mandalorian and more recently, WandaVision.
Even Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said that what Disney has done is “super impressive.”
In addition to Disney+, other companies came out with brand new streaming services. HBO Max came through with its new original content and past HBO shows, including the premiere of Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day.
Peacock and Apple TV+ also premiered as competition to Netflix last year, offering content that it may or may not include already. Even Discovery just came out with their new service, Discovery+; this allows viewers to indulge in content from HGTV, Food Network, Magnolia Network and more.
For 2021, Netflix already announced new seasons of original series set to return. And with the pandemic still among us, and more shows and films set to come out, it’ll be interesting to see how the year plays out for them.