Video: Netflix’s big bet on content pays off

Video: Netflix’s big bet on content pays off

 Netflix’s pandemic-fueled run shows no signs of slowing down, said Dan Gallagher in The Wall Street Journal. The streaming giant said this week that it topped 200 million subscribers for the first time after adding 8.5 million customers in the fourth quarter, besting “its own projections by 42 percent.” The company acknowledged this torrid pace of growth is “very unlikely to continue.” But after spending billions “in a race to build up exclusive content,” Netflix stunned investors by unexpectedly breaking even this year, and says it may “no longer need to raise external financing for its day-to-day operations.” Shares surged on the news.

Call it “a bit of luck,” but Netflix’s strategy left it “uniquely prepared for the Covid-19 crisis,” said Tara Lachapelle in Bloomberg.com. For a long time, the frequent criticism of Netflix was that “the business can’t sustain itself.” The company “burned so much cash in 2019— more than $3 billion—that its logo should have been a flame.” But when the pandemic shut down Hollywood in the spring, Netflix was ready with “hit after hit,” from Tiger King to The Queen’s Gambit. The streaming wars have taught us that “continued success will only be as strong as the content.” But for now, “Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos get to say, ‘We told you so.’”

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