(CNN) — Netflix — which was based in 1997 as a rental firm that despatched you DVDs within the mail — crossed a serious milestone on Tuesday, additional solidifying itself as one of many most influential companies in Hollywood.
The streaming service mentioned it now has greater than 200 million subscribers globally, after including 8.5 million subscribers within the fourth quarter of 2020, beating its personal expectations.
Netflix’s fourth quarter revenue in 2020 was $542 million, down from $587 million within the year-earlier quarter. Its income jumped 21%, to $6.6 billion. The corporate’s inventory jumped as a lot as 12% in after-hours buying and selling following the corporate’s earnings.
“2020 was an extremely troublesome 12 months with extraordinary loss for therefore many households, new restrictions that none of us have ever needed to reside with earlier than and nice uncertainty,” the corporate mentioned on Tuesday. “We’re enormously grateful that in these uniquely difficult occasions we have been in a position to present our members world wide with a supply of escape, connection and pleasure whereas persevering with to construct our enterprise.”
Netflix reported that for the total 12 months 2020, the corporate introduced in 37 million new subscribers, a 31% bounce from the 12 months earlier than. However one other of its bulletins might have helped increase Netflix’s inventory on Tuesday: The corporate mentioned it’s “very near being sustainably [free cash flow] constructive.”
“For the total 12 months 2021, we at the moment anticipate free money move will likely be round break even,” the corporate mentioned. “We imagine we now not have a necessity to lift exterior financing for our day-to-day operations.” That is excellent news for buyers who’ve fearful concerning the firm’s debt, content material spending and general development going ahead.
Netflix added that because it generates extra money, it intends to “preserve $10 billion to $15 billion in gross debt” however will “discover returning money to shareholders via ongoing inventory buybacks” because it’s accomplished in prior years.
Netflix additionally addressed one other regarding facet of its enterprise: rising competitors.
2020 was a big 12 months for streaming, with the launches of latest streaming providers like NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Discovery+ and HBO Max from CNN’s mother or father firm, WarnerMedia. To not point out, the large leap Disney+ made by notching greater than 80 million subscribers.
Because the longtime king of the streaming world, Netflix appears unfazed by the proliferation of rivals.
“It is a good time to be a client of leisure. There are a wealth of choices starting from linear TV to video gaming to consumer generated content material,” the corporate mentioned. “Our technique is straightforward: if we will proceed to enhance Netflix on daily basis to higher delight our members, we could be their first selection for streaming leisure. This previous 12 months is a testomony to this strategy.”
The corporate even went out of its approach to say that though Disney+ had a “massive first year,” Netflix nonetheless “recorded the most important 12 months of paid membership development in our historical past.”