Netflix's investment in original content starting six years ago was a bet that studios and networks would eventually look to do their own streaming, said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer. Analysts had expected 7.5 million new subscribers while Netflix itself had forecast 7.6 million.
Netflix, which raised prices for most U.S. subscribers by $1 to $2 a month earlier this week, said net income fell to $133.9 million, or 30 cents a share, from $185.5 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier. This quarter, the company is predicting earnings of 56 cents, short of the 85-cent average Wall Street forecast.
"I don't know if this is happening all the time, but we are looking for assurances from Netflix that...they are going to remove them", Julie Morin, Mayor of Lac-Mégantic, told The Globe And Mail.
Netflix now has 139 million people around the world paying to beam TV shows and movies to their homes and smartphones. The online streaming service topped earnings and subscriber growth estimates, but missed revenue estimates.
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The streaming giant posted revenue of US$4.19 billion in the period, compared with a US$4.21 billion projection from analysts.
The video streaming pioneer's shortfall in revenue expectations disappointed investors looking for a bigger payoff from the company's recent decision to raise prices as much as 18 percent for its USA customers.
Netflix reported its Q4 earnings on Thursday, whiffing slightly on revenue but beating company guidance and Wall Street estimates for global paid net subscriber additions.
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George Salmon, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said he expected Netflix subscribers to swallow the higher fees. "It will be interesting to see how Netflix responds to a future of smart, digital TV advertising and whether it will be forced into an ad-based model to sate the increasing consumer demand for exclusive and engaging content". After market trading, Netflix stock was down around 3% to 4% to $343.01. The last time Netflix raised prices was in October 2017.
In the letter, Netflix took time to big up its successes - Bird Box, which it estimates will be watched by 80 million households within four weeks of its release, and a Spanish-language exclusive, Elite, that has attracted more than 20 million.
"Netflix's growing catalogue of exclusive shows and ongoing push to create original content is clearly reaping rewards; recent hits such as Bird Box and Haunting of Hill House are generating the same buzz as Oscar-winning films". "We serve on average about 100 million hours a day to television screens in the United States, and we estimate television screens in the U.S. are on about a billion hours daily", the company writes in its quarterly earnings letter.
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