Netflix results: New exec-chair as subscribers grow to new high of 231m as viewing records set


Co-founder Reed Hastings steps away from co-CEO role, now Executive chairman

As Netflix released its latest results for the final quarter of calendar 2022, many will look past the growing subscriber numbers to examine what the executive shuffle at the top of the company means.

Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings has stepped away from the co-CEO role he shared with Ted Sarandos. Reed is now executive chairman of the global streaming giant and Greg Peters has stepped up from COO to become Ted Sarandos’ co-CEO, and a member of the Netflix board.

Greg Peters

Netflix reports highlights

Q4 2022 revenue, operating profit and membership growth exceeded the forecast as Netflix continues to lead the industry in streaming engagement, revenue and profit.

Q4 content slate outperformed what Netflix admitted were its high expectations:

* Wednesday was the third most popular Netflix series ever, Harry & Meghan became the second most popular documentary series, Troll the most popular non-English film, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery the fourth most popular film.

* Without detailing any specific ad revenue or lower priced subs additions Netflix reported it successfully launched the new, lower-priced ad-supported plan in November and is pleased with the early results, but admitting there was much more still to do.

* Netflix finished 2022 with 231m paid memberships and generated $32b (all figures US dollars) of revenue, $5.6b in operating income, $2.0b of net cash from operating activities and $1.6b of free cash flow (FCF). In 2023, it expects at least $3b of FCF, assuming no material swings in F/X.

Harry & Meghan

Netflix’s Harry & Meghan

Netflix started its financial report by admitting: “2022 was a tough year, with a bumpy start but a brighter finish. We believe we have a clear path to reaccelerate our revenue growth: continuing to improve all aspects of Netflix, launching paid sharing and building our ads offering. As always, our north stars remain pleasing our members and building even greater profitability over time.

Now executive chairman of the company he founded, Netflix’s Reed Hastings said: “In 2022 we premiered many of our most popular series and films in Netflix history, including Wednesday, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Purple Hearts, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, The Adam Project and Harry & Meghan – a testament to the [new leadership team’s] creativity. I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside them as we seek to delight audiences for years to come.”


New Netflix executive chairman Reed Hastings

Content and Marketing

Netflix reported subscribers have more choice of films and TV shows than ever. “We need to ensure that there’s always something great for them to watch on Netflix, regardless of their taste, mood, or who they’re watching with. It’s why we’re so focused on continuing to improve our content and broaden our slate. 2022’s successful slate was the result of having the best creative executives working with best-in-class creators. Last year alone we launched:


Five of our Top 10 most popular English language TV seasons everStranger Things 4 and Wednesday (both of which hit 1b hours viewed), Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Bridgerton S2 and Inventing Anna – as well as Harry & Meghan, our second most successful doc series ever.

Four of the Top 10 most popular English language films everThe Adam Project, The Gray Man, Purple Hearts and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – as well as The Sea Beast and The Tinder Swindler, our most successful animated and documentary films respectively.

Seven of the Top 10 most popular non-English films everTroll (Norway), All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany), Black Crab (Sweden), Through My Window (Spain), The Takedown (France), My Name is Vendetta (Italy), and Loving Adults (Denmark).

Two of the Top 10 most popular non-English TV shows everAll of Us Are Dead and Extraordinary Attorney Woo, both from Korea.

Netflix Product and Pricing

As discussed over the past few quarters, Netflix said it continues working to give people more choice when it comes to price as well as greater control over their Netflix account.

In November, we successfully launched our new, lower-priced ad-supported plan in 12 countries. We believe branded television advertising is a substantial long-term incremental revenue and profit opportunity for Netflix, and our ability to stand up this business in six months underscores our commitment both to give members more choice and to reaccelerate our growth.

“While it’s still early days for ads and we have lots to do (in particular better targeting and measurement), we are pleased with our progress to date across every dimension: member experience, value to advertisers, and incremental contribution to our business.

Engagement, which is consistent with members on comparable ad-free plans, is better than what we had expected and we believe the lower price point is driving incremental membership growth. Also, as expected, we’ve seen very little switching from other plans. Overall the reaction to this launch from both consumers and advertisers has confirmed our belief that our ad-supported plan has strong unit economics (at minimum, in-line with or better than the comparable ad-free plan) and will generate incremental revenue and profit, though the impact on 2023 will be modest given that this will build slowly over time.

Netflix Competition

“We continue to operate in a highly competitive market as consumers have a vast number of entertainment choices. Beyond our direct streaming competitors, we also vie for consumers’ time against linear TV, YouTube, short form entertainment like TikTok, and gaming, to name just a few. The silver lining is that the market for entertainment is huge and Netflix is still very small by comparison.”

Netflix admitted: “It’s not easy to build a large and profitable streaming business. But we’re competing from a position of strength, as we lead the industry in terms of engagement, revenue and streaming profit. As a pure-play streaming company, we’re also not anchored to shrinking legacy business models, like traditional entertainment firms, allowing us to lean hard into the big growth opportunity ahead of us.”

Netflix doesn’t breakdown individual country performance. Australia is part of its APAC region and the financials released show performance (figures in millions – US$) across the last five quarters with the most recent quarter in the last column on the right.



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