Netflix recorded impressive membership growth of 37 million in 2020, powering past the 200 million mark to host 204 million subscribers globally by the end of 2020.

Paid memberships in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), increased by nearly 15 million from the end of 2019 to 2020, according to Netflix’s final 2020 earnings report.

The report shows that at the end of 2020, Netflix had 66.7 million paid memberships in the region, as opposed to 51.8 million by the end of 2019.

In the United States and Canada, Netflix also recorded a membership growth, with 6.3 million more members. 

This membership increase comes despite the price hike they announced for American and Canadian users in October.

The company was expected to largely weather the COVID storm, as during the pandemic period, as people forced to stay home turned to new mediums for entertainment.

Netflix brought in a net income of $2.7 billion (€2.2 billion) in 2020, up from $1.9 billion (€1.6 billion) the year before.

Its fate is stark in comparison to that of Disney, whose streaming offering, Disney+, is one of their key market rivals. A large proportion of Disney’s income, usually derived from their theme parks, collapsed in 2020. 

Disney recorded a net loss of $2.8 billion over the year prior to October 2020 but recorded impressive membership numbers for its debut first year, reporting 87 million paid subscribers.

Netflix has heavily invested in its own original productions and has said that it plans to launch at least one new movie every week in 2021, a reassuring sign for users concerned that the pandemic hampered production.

In light of the figures, Netflix has said that they don’t expect to need to issue further debt to fund new content or day-to-day operations, and has said that it will explore stock buybacks. 

Share prices jumped following the financials release, being valued up to 13 per cent higher in after-hours trading since the announcement.  

Netflix shares have been one of the standout performers of 2020, having consistently increased in value since the initial drop as markets plummeted in March-April. 

Netflix arrived in Malta in 2016, and hosts some content filmed locally, including Queen of the South which had parts filmed and set around Valletta, and Isola Delle Rosa which carried out filming at the Malta Film Studios.

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