Despite increasing competition, Netflix has managed to maintain its leading position in the SVOD market.
The streaming giant announced Tuesday it had added 8.5 million subscribers in 2020's fourth quarter, which pushed it past the 200 million subscriber mark for the first time since its inception. According to CNN, Netflix earned $542.2 million in profits between October and December of last year, and racked in $6.64 billion in revenue. The company also confirmed it had attracted 37 million paid subscribers in 2020—marking a 31 percent jump from the prior year—and "achieved $25 billion in annual revenue."
Netflix reported a positive cash flow of $1.9 billion in 2020—a major achievement for a company that posted a negative cash flow of $3.3 billion in the previous year. A big factor for the increase was the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced studios to halt production, and the spending that came with it, throughout most of the year.
The company projects "free cash flow to be around break-even," meaning it won't have to raise external financing for its day-to-day operations. Netflix said it was exploring a stock-buyback program that would return cash to its investors. CNN reports the company's stock increased as much as 12 percent following its Q4 earnings announcement.
"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," Netflix said Tuesday. "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."