Netflix Raising Prices For 58M US Subscribers As Costs Rise

Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac-M

The company ended 2018 with 139 million paying members, having added 29 million of them during the year.

Better than expected especially in the regions outside of the American home market, where Netflix won 7.3 million additional customers. Netflix has already said it expects to add 8.9 million more subscribers in Q1 2019.

That compared with a profit of $186 million on revenue of $3.3 billion in the same period the prior year. The company's stock rose on the news, and analysts noted that the subscription cost is still lower than that of Hulu.

Addressing the competitive environment, Netflix said that in the U.S.it earns about 10 percent of television screen time.

Netflix added an unprecedented 781 hours of USA original programming in the United States during the quarter, according to Cowen & Co analysts, including drama series "Narcos: Mexico" and holiday films such as "The Christmas Chronicles".

After Nextflix's forecast of its quarterly revenue for the first quarter of 2019 dipped in comparison to Wall Street's estimates, shares of the company dropped by around 4% on Thursday, in after-hours trading.

Previous price hikes had little impact on subscriber growth and so will be this time, said analysts.

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Wedbush analysts, however, said that if "Netflix is able to improve its free cash flow by $1 billion per year, it will see its debt peak at $13 billion, and will be debt free in 2026".

In a statement to The Associated Press, Pond 5 said the footage "was taken out of context" and the company wanted to "sincerely apologize".

Despite many people speaking out about the footage, including the mayor of Lac-Mégantic, the town where the event occurred, Netflix has chose to not do anything about it. Two days before releasing the fourth quarter earnings report, Netflix unveiled plans to raise its monthly subscriber prices in the U.S.by $1-$2 per month, depending on the membership plan.

Netflix's investment in original content starting six years ago was a bet that studios and networks would eventually look to do their own streaming, said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer.

The quarter was expected to top off an expensive year for Netflix, as the company ramps up content spend and original programming.

"Strong 4Q & Early 1Q Sub Momentum Confirmed, Offset Modestly by Price Increase", analysts led by Doug Anmuth wrote. Netflix also raised prices in Canada, Japan and Argentina in late 2018. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg overwhelmingly rate the stock a "buy", and carry an average price target of $395 per share - around 16% higher from where the stock was trading on Friday.

Netflix is now reporting that the movie, which stars Sandra Bullock, has been watched by 80 million subscribers in the four weeks it's been on release on the streaming service.

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