Netflix Promises $6 Billion Worth Of Shows — And Serious Profits — In 2017

370,000 Americans, and 3.2 million more people around the world, signed up for Netflix in the last three months.

Netflix is promising two big highlights for 2016. For viewers, there'll be 1,000 hours of original new shows, part of a planned $6 billion in spending on content. And for investors there'll be serious profits for the first time in the company's history.

The streaming service is still adding subscribers at a healthy clip: 370,000 new users in the United States and 3.2 million overseas in the last three months, it said on Monday. Its US growth was slower than previous years — it added 880,000 new US subscribers in the same period in 2014, and 1 million in 2014. But those international users mean the company is still growing faster than many expected, easily beating the 2 million new subscribers predicted by analysts.

And those new subscribers are crucial in justifying that $6 billion in programming, because Netflix still doesn't make much money. The company turned a $52 million profit in its most recent quarter, based on $2.3 billion in revenue.

The 23% jump in revenue came thanks in part to rising prices — some 75% of Netflix customers have now seen price increases, and its average price has risen 10%. "With more revenue, we can reinvest to further improve Netflix to attract new members from around the world, while continuing to delight our existing customers," founder Reed Hastings said in a letter to investors.

Hastings said Netflix would start bringing in "material profits" in 2017, giving investors something other than subscriber growth to look out for. Netflix shares shot up 19% in after-hours trading, but the stock is still down about 13% this year, after rising almost 150% in 2015, when it was the best performing.


Netflix says it will spend $6 billion on content in 2016. An earlier version of this article said it will spend $6 billion producing its original content.

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