KEY POINTS

  • Netflix released its fourth-quarter report for 2019
  • 'The Witcher' tops with 76 million viewers
  • Company assures investors that it will prosper

The fourth quarter of 2019 financial report of Netflix is out and the streaming service calls 'The Witcher' its biggest season one TV show ever.

According to the report, 76 million member households watched Henry Cavill-starrer 'The Witcher.' However, Netflix has changed the meaning of ‘watched’. Earlier, a show was termed watched when 70 percent of a single episode of a series is streamed by a consumer. Now, a series is watched when anyone chose to watch for at least two minutes.

Series like 'The Crown' and 'The Witcher' are instrumental in increasing the profits and growth of Netflix in the fourth quarter of last year. Despite facing competition from players like Apple and Walt Disney Co., the streaming service was able to get 8.8 million subscribers, bringing the total to 167.1 million globally.

Meanwhile, Netflix recorded meager growth in its U.S. consumer base network.  The service added only 423,000 users in the quarter, which is below the 600,000-mark it had aimed. The total user base of Netflix in the U.S. stands at 61 million.

In 2019, Netflix raised the subscription prices in the U.S. that led to a big subscriber drop. Haris Anwar, an analyst at Investing.com, talked to Los Angeles Times about Netflix and its competition.

“Customers will have more choices in streaming services this year. The biggest challenge for Netflix in this dynamic situation is how to maintain a fine balance between growth and spending,” Anwar said. 

The competitors in the business are offering better deals to users. A subscription for Disney+ starts at $6.99/month and Apple TV+ offers $4.99/month compared to Netflix’s basic plan of $8.99/month.

However, Netflix stated in the letter to its investors that the company will continue to grow and prosper despite competition.

“Despite the big debut of Disney+ and the launch of Apple TV+, our viewing per membership grew both globally and in the U.S. on a year over year basis, consistent with recent quarters,” Netflix said in the report.

netflix Pictured is a logo for Netflix streaming service. Photo: AFP/Lionel BONAVENTURE