Netflix (NFLX) reports 269.6 million subscribers in Q1 2024, beating Wall Street estimates

Netflix beat Wall Street's subscriber estimates by over 5 million.


Netflix (NFLX) reported its Q1 2024 earnings today, and among the beats was the subscriber count. Netflix reported more than 5 million subscribers above what Wall Street had estimated.

A stock chart showing Netflix (NFLX) in after-hours trading for April 18, 2024

Netflix reported 269.6 million subscribers in Q1 2024 against Wall Street estimates of 264.21 million subscribers. This information can be found on the first page of the company’s Q1 2024 earnings report, where we can see that Netflix is reporting 9 million more subscribers than in its previous quarter, Q4 2023. In fact, Netflix is reporting more than 37 million subscribers in Q1 2024 than it had in Q1 2023 when it reported 232.5 million. The company did not provide a forecast for subscribers in Q2 2024. In addition to this beat, Netflix also reported beats on revenue and earnings per share (EPS).

The news about Netflix subscription numbers also comes with a change to reporting for the company, with Netflix stating it would no longer report quarterly membership numbers. The decision behind this is that Netflix wants to focus on revenue and operating margin as its primary financial metric, as well as engagement. It states that engagement offers the best insight into customer satisfaction.

Text from the Netflix Q1 2024 report that reads: Paid Membership Reporting As we’ve noted in previous letters, we’re focused on revenue and operating margin as our primary financial metrics — and engagement (i.e. time spent) as our best proxy for customer satisfaction. In our early days, when we had little revenue or profit, membership growth was a strong indicator of our future potential. But now we’re generating very substantial profit and free cash flow (FCF). We are also developing new revenue streams like advertising and our extra member feature, so memberships are just one component of our growth. In addition, as we’ve evolved our pricing and plans from a single to multiple tiers with different price points depending on the country, each incremental paid membership has a very different business impact. It’s why we stopped providing quarterly paid membership guidance in 2023 and, starting next year with our Q1'25 earnings, we will stop reporting quarterly membership numbers and ARM. We’ll continue to provide a breakout of revenue by region each quarter and the F/X impact to complement our financials. For guidance, we’ll add annual revenue guidance on top of what we already provide today: our annual operating margin and free cash flow forecast and forecasts for quarterly revenue, operating income, net income, and EPS. We’ll also announce major subscriber milestones as we cross them. Success in streaming starts with engagement. When people watch more, they stick around longer (retention), recommend Netflix more often (acquisition) and place a higher value on our service. It’s why we’ve been providing progressively more information on engagement, starting with our Top 10 weekly and most popular lists and more recently our bi-annual report into viewing on Netflix (which covers ~99% of all video watch time on our service). This is more information than any of our competitors provide, and we expect to provide even more over time.

Source: Netflix shareholder letter

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Bill, who is also known as Rumpo, is a lifelong gamer and Toronto Maple Leafs fan. He made his mark early in his career through guide writing and a deep understanding of editorial SEO. He enjoys putting in the work to create a great content, be it a wild feature or grinding out an in-depth collectible guide. Tweet him @RumpoPlays if you have a question or comment about one of his articles.

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