By Ovunc Kutlu
ANKARA (AA) - Netflix saw the number of its paid subscribers surpassing 200 million in the final quarter of last year, according to its financial results statement.
The world's largest streaming video subscription service added more than 8.5 million subscribers in the October-December period of 2020 to see global streaming paid memberships rise 21.9% from previous quarter to 203.6 million, said the statement released Tuesday.
The company could only add 2.2 million new paid members globally in July-September, while it estimates total membership to reach 209.6 million in the first quarter of 2021.
Although its net income fell 7.6% to $542 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, from $587 million the same period of 2019, the revenue soared 21.4% to $6.64 billion, from $5.47 billion during that period.
Netflix hit the fourth quarter with new content, such as original film "The Midnight Sky", starring and directed by George Clooney, as it estimates 72 million member households will watch it in first four weeks of release. It projects 53 million members to watch "We Can Be Heroes", directed by Robert Rodriguez.
Season four of "The Crown" was watched by more members than each of the prior seasons, which pushed the number of households that viewed the series to over 100 million since its launch, the statement said.
Netflix, however, is not without challenge as the streaming business has been rapidly expanding with major studios and broadcasters entering the market.
Walt Disney announced in December it added 86.8 million subscribers in the first year of Disney+ streaming service.
In addition to AppleTV+, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, and NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming services, ViacomCBS will soon announce plans to launch Paramount+ this year.