The streaming wars kicked off in earnest in 2019 what with the launch of several streaming services including Disney+ and Apple TV.
Stalwart of the industry Netflix managed to hold strong in the face of increased comeptition and it shows in Q4 2019 being the firm’s most successful quarter of the year.
Revenue for the quarter amounted to $5.4 billion. That figure was helped along by a total of 8.76 million new paying subscribers.
That growth in subscribers is global, however, and growth in Netflix’s home country is slowing dramatically.
Paid subscribers in the US grew by just over 420 000. Back in 2018 this growth sat at 1.53 million which is rather concerning and Netflix has noted that by being cautious for the Q1 2020.
“Our Q1’20 forecast reflects the continued, slightly elevated churn levels we are seeing in the US plus an expectation for more balanced paid net adds across Q1 and Q2 this year, with seasonality more similar to 2018 than 2019. This is due in part to the timing of last year’s price changes and a strong upcoming Q2 content slat,” said Netflix.
Comparatively, international subscribers grew by 8.33 million, a little over one million more than the same period in 2018.
The international market then is a key focus for Netflix given the potential growth. That growth, according to its earnings filing, might just be mobile-only plans.
Netflix debuted a mobile-only streaming plan in India in 2019 before expanding the offering to Malaysia and Indonesia. This move has yielded “incremental subscriber growth” but the important thing is subscriber retention.
“We expect the mobile-only plan to be revenue-positive which will allow us to further invest in content to be enjoyed by our members and continue to feed the virtuous cycle. We plan to continue to test adding this plan, as well as additional ideas in other countries around the world,” Netflix said.
It’s also worth remembering that services such as Disney+ are not available in certain regions and weren’t for the majority of the last quarter. Should Disney’s service launch in more territories, we may just have a fight on our hands.
With increased competition it will be interesting to see these figures a year from now but for the time being Netflix appears strong and that’s all that really matters.