Netflix appears to be on a subscriber growth trajectory that will have the majority of subscribers residing outside the U.S. by 2018.
That’s according to a new Digital TV Research study that estimated the SVOD giant will have 118 million subscribers by 2021. By that time, the U.S. will contribute 44% of Netflix’s subscribers, while North America as a whole will account for 52%.
The continued growth abroad is good news for Netflix as the company could soon be facing much more competition outside of the U.S. Specifically, Amazon has signaled its intent to expand its Amazon Prime Video service out to another 200 countries.
With Amazon’s jump overseas, a bigger content budget could follow. Analysts estimated that Amazon’s content capital could hit $7 billion in 2017, higher than the already whopping $6 billion that Netflix has planned to spend.
But there’s reason to believe Netflix’s content budget can grow to keep pace as international—as well as domestic—growth drive demand for more original and licensed material. According to the Digital TV Research study, Netflix’s overall revenues will surge from $6.4 billion in 2015 to $13.1 billion in 2021.
The international expansion for Netflix has paid off with a big boost to subscriber totals. As of the third quarter 2016, Netflix had 47.5 million total U.S. subscribers and another 39.25 million international subscribers. The company is projecting it will grow its international subscriber base to 43 million by the fourth quarter, meaning it will have added nearly 10 million international subscribers since announcing its expansion in January.