Netflix surpassed analyst expectations on subscriber growth in the fourth quarter of 2023, adding 13.1 million new members, according to the company’s earnings report released Wednesday.
Thanks to a potent combination of strategic moves and captivating content, the streaming giant’s total subscriber base now stands at 233.2 million with 8.8 million net new subscribers.
Revenue for the quarter grew 12% year-over-year to $8.83 billion (up from 6% in 2022) but net income fell short of expectations at $938 million.
Despite the profit miss, Netflix’s subscriber growth was a bright spot in the report. The company had forecast to add 12.1 million new members in the quarter, and it blew past that target.
This strong performance was driven by the continued popularity of Netflix’s original content, such as Wednesday and The Crown, as well as the international expansion of the platform.
However, Netflix acknowledged the increasingly competitive streaming market in its report. The company said it expects to see continued competition from the likes of Disney+, HBO Max, and Apple TV+, and it plans to invest heavily in original content and marketing to maintain its leading position.
One notable announcement from Netflix was a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for the rights to Monday Night Raw. The popular wrestling program will be available to stream on Netflix in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Latin America starting in 2025.
Netflix’s chief executive Ted Sarandos shared during their 2023 earnings livestream that WWE Raw hits the sweet spot of the business of sports, and that they are thrilled to bring this live programming to their members.
“Think of this as 52 weeks of live programming every week, every year. It feeds our desire to expand our live event programming,” he said. “But most importantly, fans love it.”
The platform has had many successes with the shoulder programming sports documentary series’ like Drive to Survive, Break Point, and Quarterbacks. According to Sarandos, the storytelling aspect of WWE fits well within their formula for sports programming.
For Netflix, there is a lot of scope for growth ahead, in accordance with streaming expansion but their target remains the same, which is to thrill their members with entertainment, the platform shared in a statement to the shareholders.
“If we can continue to improve Netflix faster than the competition, we’ll have an increasingly valuable business – for consumers, creators and shareholders,” Netflix added.