Netflix witnessed a smashing results with the subscription based video-on-demand (SVoD) leader reporting Q4 2019 revenue growth of 31% year-on-year, bringing full year 2019 revenue to $20.156 billion, while FY19 operating income rose 62% to $2.6 billion.
During the quarter, Netflix also surpassed 100 million paid memberships outside of the US. Growth in EMEA continued steadily during the year with subscription numbers at the year end of 51.78 million out of a global total of 167.9 million, with 8.76 million net ads in Q4 up 20% year on year.
In Q4, average streaming paid memberships grew 21% year over year while streaming ARPU increased 9% year over year leading to total Q4 revenues of $5.467 billion . Excluding a $133 million hit from foreign currency, streaming ARPU rose 12% year over year. Q4 operating income more than doubled on a yearly basis to $458.512 million.
During the fourth quarter, Netflix’s global paid net additions totalled 8.8 million, the same as in 2018. Growth was said to have been fuelled by a broad slate of original programming and the worldwide adoption of streaming video. Netflix also reported a record number of paid net additions in each of the EMEA, LATAM and APAC regions.
As ever with Netflix, original content was a key driver to business and providing a spike to ratings in December 2019 was The Witcher, which is tracking to be Netflix’s biggest season one TV series ever. As many as 76 million member households chose to watch the action fantasy drama starring Henry Cavill through its first four weeks of release. In the film arena, 6 Underground, from director Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds, was picked up by 83 million member households in its first four weeks.
Recognising the new competitive environment in which it now operates, Netflix insisted that it still had a big head start in streaming and will work to build on that by focusing on compelling content. It added that despite the big debut of Disney+ and the launch of Apple TV+, its viewing per membership grew both globally and in the US on a year over year basis, consistent with recent quarters.
Going forward, in its fourth-quarter financial statement Netflix forecast Q120 global paid net adds of 7.0 million, almost three million fewer than in Q119, which was an all-time high in quarterly paid net adds. This said the company reflected continuing, elevated churn levels being witnessed in the US plus an expectation for more balanced paid net adds across Q1 and Q2 2020.