There are no two ways about it: Netflix is absolutely dominating the streaming video market. In the first quarter of 2018, the video service added more than than 7.5 million new customers — with 5.5 million subscribers joining outside the U.S. For perspective, Netflix competitor Hulu ended 2017 with 17 million subscribers. While researching the use of VPNs to unblock Netflix access for holiday makers and travelers we struggled to find a really comprehensive source of Netflix statistics, facts and figures so decided to compile our own.

netflix stats

In just one quarter, Netflix added half as many new subscribers as Hulu has total subscribers. While #2 streaming service Amazon may be able to boast about its large subscriber base (estimated at 66 million at the beginning of 2017 and likely closer to 80-90 million now), it still pales in comparison to the 118 million subscribers now turning to Netflix worldwide.

Netflix is a fairly multi-faceted company. With so much attention pouring its way, industry observers have been collecting reams of data on the company for over a decade now. Most Netflix facts and stats focus heavily on the company’s growth numbers and market value, but there’s much more to the streaming service than that. And not all of it paints a rosy picture for the company.

What numbers matter most for the streaming giant? Here are 50+ Netflix stats and facts that reveal just how big Netflix has become.

Netflix stats and facts: Major milestones

Media attention on Netflix has taken off in the past decade, but the streaming service was under the radar for years before that. The following stats chart the company’s most notable milestones as it grew from a small DVD service to a streaming media giant.

  • Netflix was founded in 1997. The company’s site launched a year later. (Source: Netflix)
  • Initially, Netflix only received $2 million in venture capital funding during its Series A funding round from Reed Hastings. Just three years later, during its Series E funding round, it only raised $50 million with 3 backers. (Sources: Motley Fool, Crunchbase)
  • The company began offering a subscription-based DVD-by-mail service in 1999. (Source: Netflix)
  • In 2000, Netflix began using a combination of collected big data and analytics tools to recommend videos for users to rent. (Source: Netflix)

Netflix made its initial public offering in 2002 at $15 per share. Although the share price dipped a year later to slightly below $5 a share, shares have since jumped to over $250. (Source: Netflix)

  • Netflix broke 4 million subscribers in 2005. (Source: Netflix)
  • After transforming the DVD-by-mail market, Netflix launched online video streaming in 2007. (Source: Netflix)
  • Netflix moved beyond web browsers in 2008, partnering with companies to stream on Xbox 360, Blu-ray disc players, and TV set-top boxes. (Source: Netflix)
  • In 2009, Netflix landed on the PS3 and smart TVs. (Source: Netflix)
  • By 2010, Netflix rounded the bases for streaming devices, launching on Apple’s iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Nintendo Wii and more. (Source: Netflix)
  • Netflix officially branched out to international markets in 2010 with its Canadian launch. (Source: Netflix)
  • 2011 marked a major year for Netflix as the streaming service dove further into the international market, launching in Latin America and the Caribbean. (Source: Netflix)
  • Netflix finally migrated to Europe in 2012, officially becoming available in the UK, Ireland and Nordic countries. (Source: Netflix)
  • In 2013, Netflix launched its first three original series, House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, and Orange is the New Black. The streaming service pulled in 31 primetime Emmy nominations for its original shows. (Source: Netflix)
Netflix stats
Source: Netflix
  • In 2014, after loads of complaints from customers, Comcast and Netflix reached a “mutually beneficial” agreement to help stop throttling issues. Reports state that Netflix paid Comcast to end the dispute. (Source: Consumerist)
  • Netflix continued its march across the globe in 2015, finally launching its service in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other locations. (Source: Netflix)
  • As of 2016, Netflix was made available worldwide except for a select few countries. (Source: Netflix)
Netflix facts and stats
Source: Statista
  • Even as Netflix was available worldwide, the company began to aggressively crack down on region hoppers. On February 29, 2016, reports began rolling in that the streaming service was blocking virtual private networks (VPNs) and other proxy services. (Source: Google)
  •  As of 2018, Netflix officially beat HBO’s 17-year-long run in Emmy nominations. The streaming service received 112 Emmy nominations in 2017, up starkly from the 90 it received in 2017. (Source: Vulture)

Netflix by the numbers: big money, big data, and a massive number of customers

There’s probably one phrase that best defines how Netflix does business: Bigger is better. The streaming service was among the first to start using big data to better target customer choices. It was the first and only streaming service to top 100 million paid subscribers. Its stock value is higher than any other publicly traded streaming video service (Amazon not included). That streaming video success does not come without some interesting data to back it up as well.

  • In 2013 Netflix required massive amounts of fast storage and fast networking for streaming. It’s boxes then had 100 to 150 terabytes per server. (Source: Giganom)
  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stated in 2015 that users had streamed 42.5 billion hours of video through the service. (Source: Business Insider)

According to The Stack, Netflix subscribers use about 45GB of data each month streaming content. Netflix changed its algorithms in 2016 to help reduce data consumption by encoding some videos to stream in lower quality (such as children’s programming). The Stack also reports that Netflix pushed approximately 329,400,000,000 gigabytes of data through its network in 2015 (Source: The Stack)

  • Netflix users spent 100 million hours a day watching content. (Source: Netflix)
  • Around 55 million of the streaming service’s subscriber base is in the United States. (Source: Recode)
  • Netflix fully migrated its content over to Amazon Web Services in 2016, a project that took 7 years to complete. (Source: Netflix)
  • In 2016, Netflix spent 852.1M on research and development. (Source: MarketWatch)
  • Netflix cleared $8.83 billion in sales revenue in 2016. The company’s gross income that year was $2.8 billion, with a consolidated net income of $186.68 million. (Source: MarketWatch)
  • A 2016 study found that 58% of Netflix subscribers choose the service because of its cost-effectiveness. Nearly the same number subscribed to get access to the service’s growing library of original content. (Source: eMarketer)
  • That draw may have included the company’s exclusive deal with Disney. Netflix paid $300 million to stream Disney content. (Source: Forbes)
  • Netflix is still earning significant revenue from DVD rentals. In 2017, the company made around $450 million in revenue from its DVD rental service. (Source: Netflix)
  • The company still had over 4 million DVD rental subscribers as of 2016. (Source: Statista)
  • The company predicts a year-over-year revenue growth of 39.8% by Q1 2018, and projects it will have 123 million subscribers by that time as well. (Source: Netflix)
  • Two-thirds of all Netflix users now share their accounts with others. On average, there were 2.5 viewers for every Netflix account. (Sources: Global Web Index, Forbes)
  • Despite huge profits, Netflix’s spending strategy is resulting in negative cash flow. The company’s 2017 free cash flow was minus $2.0 billion. The majority of that is due to the company’s aggressive spending on new original content, which it hopes to make up for in new subscriptions. (Source: Netflix)
netflix facts
Source: Wall Street Journal
  • Consequently, Netflix carries a large amount of debt. The company is reportedly $4.8 billion in debt, with $15.7 billion allotted to future commitments with studios. (Source: Cord Cutters News)
  • Despite heavy debts and spending more than it’s bringing in, Netflix carries a market value of $151 billion as of May 2018 – more than Disney and Comcast. (Source: CNN)
  • By the end of 2017, Netflix increased its subscriber base to around 118 million people worldwide. (Source: Quartz)
  • Cordcutting.com estimates that Netflix allows customers to avoid nearly 160 hours of commercials per year. (Source: Cordcutting.com)
  • According to multiple sources, Netflix plans to spend $8 billion on new content in 2018. The company also plans to spend $2 billion to market its service and content. (Sources: New York Times, CNBC)
  • As of May 2017, Netflix employed around 4,700 people. (Source: Forbes)
  • According to survey data from 2017, 54%  of U.S. adults were using Netflix, with 23% streaming Netflix daily. 81% streamed on a TV set. (Source: Leichtman Research)
  • Half of Netflix users are streaming video through video game consoles. That data coincides with other reports that state consoles are the preferred streaming device for many consumers. (Sources: Statistic Brain, BARB)
  • Roy Morgan estimates nearly 1 in 3 Australian households had Netflix as of Q1 2017. (Source: Roy Morgan)

As of January 2018, Netflix has nearly 15,400 titles across all of its regional libraries. (Source: uNoGS)

  • Despite years of library size decline, Netflix’s U.S. library size is slightly larger in 2018 than in past years. As of January 2018, Netflix had 5,599 titles. In March 2016, the service had 5,532. The 2018 number is still a large decrease from 2014, when Netflix had over 8,000 titles in the U.S. content library. (Sources: uNoGS, Time)
  • According to Business Insider Australia, Netflix believes its personalized recommendation engine is worth big bucks: $1 billion. (Source: Business Insider Australia)
  • The vast majority of Netflix users take those recommendations. 80% of Netflix views were from the service’s recommendations. (Source: Business Insider Australia)
  • 2018 is going to be Netflix’s biggest year yet for original content. The company is set to release 700 original TV shows as well as 80 original films in 2018. (Sources: Business Insider, Netflix and Variety)
  • The company’s original content strategy is about more than just volume. Netflix’s original programming has received over 430 award nominations and 72 awards given. House of Cards holds 29 of those awards. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • According to Netflix CFO David Wells, the company is not opposed to spending $20 million per hour of original content. (Source: Variety)
Netflix
Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • Netflix’s most expensive show, The Crown, cost $130 million to produce season 1. (Source: Mashable)
  • Netflix is also spending big for individual actors and personalities. The company paid Chris Rock $40 million to produce two comedy specials. (Source: Forbes)
  • Netflix has established itself as a hotbed of stand-up comedy also paying $40 million for legendary comedian Ricky Gervais for 2 specials, the first one being Humanity. (Source: Business Insider)
  • Netflix regularly tracks and publishes primetime streaming speeds from all major ISPs in most countries it serves. In the U.S., Comcast takes the top spot with 3.98 Mbps as of December 2017. In Australia, Exetel has the fastest speeds (3.66 Mbps). In the U.K., Virgin wins out (3.96 Mbps), and in Canada, Shaw tops the list with 3.60 Mbps. (Source: Netflix)
  • Thanks to its HERMES translation platform, Netflix is now able to offer content in over 20 languages. (Source: Netflix)
  • Of the 785 million Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming service users worldwide, 44 percent of them are using Netflix. (Source: eMarketer)
  • Some sources show Millennials love Netflix, with 89 percent using the service to watch most of their TV. (Source: Business Insider)
  • In its 2018 Internet Phenomena Report, Sandvine notes that Netflix accounted for 15 percent of all global downstream traffic volume in 2017. (Source: Sandvine)
netflix facts and stats Sandvine
Source: Sandvine
  • The Sandvine report notes that Netflix also accounted for around 3 percent of all global upstream traffic. (Source: Sandvine)
  • The Netflix domination looks different across different regions of the world, however. In the Americas, Netflix accounts for around 19 percent of all downstream traffic and over 5 percent of upstream traffic. (Source: Sandvine)
  • In the EMEA region of the world, Netflix only accounted for around 12 percent of downstream traffic, bested by YouTube which took the top spot at around 16 percent of the volume. (Source: Sandvine)
  • In the APAC region, Netflix fell to third, with only 6 percent of all downstream traffic, edged out slightly by Facebook Video and more nominally by the generic “HTTP Media Stream”. (Source: Sandvine)
  • When only considering video streaming, however, Netflix accounts for about 26 percent of the world’s total volume of downstream traffic, with competitor Amazon Prime Video at a distant 5th place as it consumed just under 6 percent of that volume. (Source: Sandvine)
  • In its 2nd Quarter 2018 financial report, Netflix revealed that it’s beat forecasts for adding new customers in 7 of the past 10 quarters. (Source: Netflix)
  • International growth added $65 million to the services’ year over year international revenue thanks to changes in currency valuation as of 2Q 2018. (Source: Netflix)
  • Library sizes vary depending on where you’re accessing the service. The largest region for Netflix, by far, is the U.S., with over 6,000 titles available to subscribers. (Source: uNoGS)
  • Netflix also costs different amounts around the world. The cheapest place to subscribe to Netflix’s basic subscription option is Turkey, at a cost of $3.27 per month, while the most expensive is Norway at a cost of $11 per month. (Source: Comparitech)
  • When considering the percent Netflix costs versus the average median income of a country, Japan comes out on top. Netflix only costs 0.17 percent of the average person’s annual earnings in that country. (Source: Comparitech)
  • Meanwhile, Netflix is a costly purchase for the average Indian, as the price is nearly 5 percent of the average annual income in that country. (Source: Comparitech)

All signs continue to point toward a bright future for Netflix, but 2018 and beyond could result in some decline for the company. While the service continues to add customers in all markets, its market growth in the U.S. is likely to start leveling off in the U.S. as the company maximizes its potential in its home base. And while the company still dominates in most markets where its available, increasing pressure from newer services mean it will need to keep up its currently effective spending to stay ahead. However, the company cannot operate at a loss indefinitely. Eventually, it will need to turn a profit, which may mean stabilizing, and not continually increasing, its content spending budget. Still, with a lot of room to grow outside of the U.S., Netflix is still a good bet in 2018 and onward.