Netflix juggernaut crushes competition

Subscription video-on-demand giant Netflix has advised that it gained more than 8.5 million global subscribers in the December quarter and 37 million during 2020.

Netflix finished the 2020 calendar year with 203.7 million customers worldwide. It also reported revenue of $US6.64 billion for the December quarter, compared with $US5.45 billion for the same period in 2019, representing explosive growth of 22%.

Netflix subscriber numbers have also doubled since 2017 when it first exceeded 100 million paying customers.

Below is the key extract from the letter to shareholders:

2020 was an incredibly difficult year with extraordinary loss for so many families, new restrictions that none of us have ever had to live with before and great uncertainty. We’re enormously grateful that in these uniquely challenging times we’ve been able to provide our members around the world with a source of escape, connection and joy while continuing to build our business. With 8.5m paid net additions in Q4, we crossed the 200m paid memberships mark. For the full year, we added a record 37m paid memberships, achieved $25 billion in annual revenue (+24% year over year) and grew operating profit 76% to $4.6 billion. Our summary results and forecast are below.

This explosive growth has been replicated in Australia where Netflix is by far the market leader, with nearly 14.2 million viewers – around 55% of the Australian population – after growing 19.0% in the year to September 2020:

Netflix is undoubtedly the world’s steaming juggernaut without peer.

Unconventional Economist
Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


  1. How long until Facebook consumes Netflix? Then, we’ll have the viewing diet that’s ‘good for us’ fed to us as well.

  2. Our home aerial has been broken for two years. At first I wasn’t sure if it was the tv (which was due for replacement), so we replaced that.. still no good. Don’t think we’ll ever be watching free to air broadcast tv again.. the quality just isn’t there, ads are incessant, and the bias (across the board) of commentators and news is appalling.

    The internet for news, and some streaming services for ~1hr a day televisual entertainment in the evening for us is plenty, perhaps add a movie on the weekend if we are in.

    • The ads on FTA TV are astounding. I think there used to be standards about the number of ads in a cluster, total ads per hour and stuff like that, but they’ve all gone by the wayside to the point that it’s not feasible to watch it. I haven’t watched a movie on FTA TV for probably ten years. Apart from 20 minutes of ABC news in the morning and the odd ABC show like Hard Quiz I don’t watch any TV at all. I usually have the ABC news on silent too, because I can’t stand the gibbering of Rowland and that fat chick.

      I suspect I’m not alone, and that the TV stations are taking their advertising customers for a ride, coz nobody is being influenced by those ads to buy anything.

      • Here’s a theory for you.
        TV shows are primarily targeted at “dumb” people, because these are the people advertisers want to show ads to because they are far more likely to be influenced by them. From this perspective a lot of tv programming really starts to make sense.

  3. I find it increasingly hard to find good stuff on Netflix. I seem to have watched most of the good things things and nowadays just scroll for hours, watch a bit of something shit, give up and go to bed. There’s an awful lot of crap on there now.

    • That’s pretty much my experience too. Every time I think “Hey….maybe they have movie x” and go to look I’m disappointed.

      I have lots of other interests so I hardly watch the box anyway apart from goggling at the laughable lefty bias of the ABC morning news clowns and stuff like that. I’m vaguely thinking about giving Netflix the flick due to overall sh1tness.

    • Give Amazon Prime a go – we had Netflix for a while and had a similar experience – great at first but then you run out of good stuff. Tried Stan for a month and it was rubbish. Disney + is good for Kids movies but that’s it. Amazon is great – in particular The Test, all or Nothings Series (Man City) and similar shows as well as some really good sitcoms/comedies.
      Going forward we plan to switch between Amazon & Netflix every 6mths or so. Add in Optus Sport (free on most phone packages) and there’s plenty to watch for one fee per month.

  4. Shades of MessinaMEMBER

    If they get into streaming live sport ala Nickleodeon and the NFL then they really will be unstoppable !.

    Put the NRL/Union/cricket on Netflix and I would never watch watch FTA again.

    • +1. The NRL rights are Ruperts last real asset. It would be fantastic to see his influence on the sport removed too.

  5. All thanks to bored people on lockdown and people WFH.
    Wonder how many will cancel when things open up.
    FYI, I have not paid for a service for over a year now.
    I’m on amazon now for 3 month trial and apple for 1 year free trial.
    I then cancel and jump to another for free trial.
    Between me and wife’s account we can do this for a while.
    2 months of stan is next.
    SBS and ABC on demand keeps things interesting in between until another free offer is given.

  6. Anyone wanting a good laugh I recently found a you tube content reviewer called “critical drinker”. Totally takes the P*SS out of the plethora of crap woke movie and TV content. Very much has become my favourite reviewer.