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Here in the United States in 2017, there are generally no guarantees on how or where things will go in the next 12 months. Unless, that is, you're looking directly at Netflix, which is likely destined to control the entire planet before much longer. 2016 was a banner year for the company, and according to CEO Reed Hastings, Netflix is now a binge-ready entertainment source for a whopping 93.8 million total subscribers. That's just above how many original series Netflix will have by 2019. (Not really.)
Nothing to complain about for Reed Hastings of anyone else at Netflix, which now has a customer base that makes up more than a fourth of the U.S. population, and is closing in on the total number of people with cable and satellite subscriptions. That number was quite a bit lower a few months ago, too, and Netflix can also boast that the fourth quarter of 2016 brought in 7.05 million new subscribers, making it the biggest quarter of growth in the company's history. 2016 was Netflix's most successful year as a whole, as well, which was certainly aided by that big Q4 boost.
Perhaps surprisingly, there are no big secrets for Netflix to hide on why there was such an increase in subscribers, either. The company took on a massive expansion last year that included 170 new countries acquiring access to its streaming programming. In those final months of 2016, Netflix added 1.93 million subscribers here in the U.S., with another 5.12 million signing up around the globe, and both numbers beat outside estimates.
Looking at Netflix's schedule, it's also not too hard to see why the jump happened. In those final months of the year, the company added the Gilmore Girls revival, the British hit The Crown, the out-of-nowhere sci-fi drama The OA, the new season of Black Mirror, the Guillermo del Toro animated series Trollhunters and the true crime series Captive. Not to mention comedy specials from Dana Carvey, Colin Quinn and Reggie Watts, among others. Plus movies like Kevin James' latest, and the Barack Obama biopic Barry. That's a ton of good shit for a single quarter.
According to THR, Reed Hastings wasn't exactly setting off celebratory fireworks over the successes on a conference call with press. He says the boost plays into a more steady and consistent growth when looked at in Big Picture mode. But if that was just a sign of what 2017 could be for Netflix...Sorry, I was thinking about all the new stuff from Jerry Seinfeld and Marvel that's coming.