Netflix attributes strong subscriber growth to Birdbox and Bandersnatch

Although Netflix’s latest earnings saw it slightly miss revenue targets, they over-delivered on subscriber growth despite a price hike in the US.

The streaming giant boasted revenue of $4.19bn in the closing quarter of 2018, narrowly missing Wall Street’s projected $4.21bn. It will now introduce a US price hike from $11 per month to $13 in the hope of combating its sliding earnings (27% lower year on year).

The streaming service added 1.53 million subscribers in the US and 7.31 million internationally, outperforming analyst projections. Despite the optimistic projections, Netflix stock was down by 2.9% after the call.

During the period, the company launched Sandra Bullock horror film Birdbox, and it applauded the global response to the film that critics were tepid on. The company claims the movie drew 45 million viewers in its first week and clarified that it counts a ‘view’ as 70% completion. It does not release figures for independent validation, however, and Nielsen has pegged Birdbox viewership to closer to 26 million.

Netflix also launched a bold foray into interactive story-telling in the fourth quarter. Chief content officer Ted Sarandos reflected on the launch of Black Mirror tale Bandersnatch.

He said: “There have been a few false starts on interactive storytelling in the last couple of decades. And I would tell you that this one has got storyteller salivating about the possibilities.

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