Some Netflix Subscribers Say They'll Leave Over New Pricing

Netflix criticised for using real disaster footage in Bird Box

The streaming giant just reported its fourth quarter earnings performance after the market close today, which included the announcement that Netflix added 8.84 million subscribers during the holiday quarter. Sarandos discussed the strategy going forward and where the increased subscriber fees would help with buying original films like "Bird Box". Analysts had expected 7.5 million new subscribers while Netflix itself had forecast 7.6 million.

The stock traded at $346.76 per share Friday morning.

The earnings report comes at the start of what could be a pivotal year for the company. Netflix's cheapest plan rose from USD 8 to USD 9, the standard increased from USD 11 to USD 13, and the 4K Premium plan jumped from USD 14 to USD 16.

The company has said that its cash burn is a long-term investment because the money goes into the original content it produces, which drives subscriber and revenue growth. The pricing change takes effect immediately for new customers.

Revenue grew 27.4 percent, to $4.19 billion. That's in addition to rival services on the market from Amazon, Hulu and Google's YouTube.

Netflix's shortfall in revenue expectations overshadowed its record number of subscribers as investors hoped for a bigger payoff having increased prices for U.S. customers by up to 18 per cent.

However, a price increase in the United States and some countries in Latin America and the Caribbean announced this week has the potential to add some $1bn in revenue.

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Netflix reported earnings of 30 cents per share for the quarter, lower than a year earlier due to higher spending, but above Wall Street analysts' average estimate of 24 cents, according to Refinitiv.

It's natural that Netflix will find it harder to find new customers for its service, now that a majority of US households with fast internet access already subscribe and prices are rising.

The company said it expects free cash flow in 2019 to be similar to 2018, but sees improvement each year thereafter.

"Our best way is to win more time by having the best experience with all the things we do".

Netflix warned that content costs are driving higher expenses in the second half of the year.

Nothing in Thursday's numbers will convince Netflix believers that the company is doomed, nor will anything convince Netflix doubters that its path is smooth. Multiple news agencies are reporting that Netflix confirmed the footage shown at the beginning of Bird Box is Lac-Megantic disaster footage but that it will not be removed.

Netflix's own current content hits include the Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, which the company estimates will be seen in over 80m member households in its first four weeks; You (40m households in the first four weeks); and Sex Education (also 40m households in the first four weeks).

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