Netflix adds 8.3M new subscribers including 1.2M in U.S. and Canada

Netflix added another 8.28 million global paid streaming memberships in the fourth quarter, coming up just short of the 8.5 million it forecast.

For the full year 2021, Netflix’s paid net adds totaled 18 million compared to 37 million in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. The company saw more than 90% of its paid net adds in 2021 coming from outside the U.S. and Canada, but those markets still added 1.2 million paid memberships in fourth quarter, compared to 0.9 million last year.

Netflix said it marked its strongest quarter of member growth in North America “since the early days of COVID-19 in 2020.” It represented a strong turnaround for North America after slower growth in the third quarter and a loss of 400,000 subscribers in the second quarter.

The company now has nearly 222 million global paid subscribers and expects to add another 2.5 million in the first quarter of 2022, well below the 4 million it added the year prior.

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“…While retention and engagement remain healthy, acquisition growth has not yet re-accelerated to pre-Covid levels. We think this may be due to several factors including the ongoing Covid overhang and macro-economic hardship in several parts of the world like LATAM,” the company wrote in a letter to shareholders, also pointing out that major titles like the second season of “Bridgerton” won’t launch until the back half of the quarter.

Netflix reported full year revenue of $30 billion, up 19% year over year, and operating income of $6.2 billion, up 35% year over year. Going into 2022, the company can likely expect a revenue boost from some recent pricing changes.

Last week, Netflix raised prices in the U.S. and Canada. But before that, the company in December lowered its prices in India across all four plans.

“India is fairly unique because pay TV pricing is very low. We believe these new prices will make Netflix more accessible to a broader swath of the population - strengthening our value perception. Our goal is to maximize long term revenue in each of our markets,” the company wrote.