Netflix added nearly 2 million more U.S. subscribers and 6.36 million international subscribers in the fourth quarter.
Both of those totals well eclipsed both Netflix’s estimates for the quarter and Wall Street estimates. Wall Street expected Netflix would add 1.28 million domestic and about 5 million international subscribers.
In all, the company added 8.33 million new subscribers. Netflix now has 54.75 million U.S. subscribers and 62.83 million international subscribers. Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2018, Netflix estimates it will add 1.45 million new domestic subscribers and 4.9 million new international subscribers.
“In Q4, we registered global net adds of 8.3 million, the highest quarter in our history and up 18% vs. last year’s record 7.05 million net adds. This exceeded our 6.3m forecast due primarily to stronger than expected acquisition fueled by our original content slate and the ongoing global adoption of internet entertainment,” the company wrote in a news release.
Total revenue for the fourth quarter was $3.28 billion, up 32.6% year over year. Net income reached $186 million.
Along with the continued influx of subscribers, Netflix also saw average streaming hours per membership grow by 9% year over year, leading it to declare its investment in original content is paying off. The company now intends to spend between $7.5 billion and $8 billion this year on original programming.
Netflix is also raising investments in marketing and technology. The marketing budget for 2018 is now set at $2 billion and the technology and development budget will hit $1.3 billion in 2018.
Netflix said that it’s growing faster than it had expected, allowing it to invest more in original content than it had planned. As a result, the company is anticipating a negative cash flow of $3 billion to $4 billion, up from the negative $2 billion it posted in 2017 (which was at the low end of company guidance).