Netflix easily blew past subscription expectations for the fourth quarter of 2017 on the back of solid earnings and revenue, sending shares of the streaming entertainment giant up more than 8 percent in after-hours trading Monday.
Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix added 8.3 million subscribers globally during the period, beating its own guidance of 6.3 million. The company met its earnings forecast of 41 cents per share on slightly higher-than-expected revenue of $3.29 billion.
For the year, Netflix said it added 24 million new memberships, compared to 19 million in 2016.
The company said that the 8.3 million new subscribers was a quarterly high for the company. Subscriber growth was fueled largely by original content as well as wider adoption of streaming TV overseas.
The quarter saw the Dec. 22 release of Netflix’s highly touted movie “Bright,” starring Will Smith as a cop living in a dystopian Los Angeles where humans work side by side with fantasy creatures like orcs and fairies. The movie, which reportedly cost at least $90 million, has been a popular draw among subscribers despite scathing reviews from critics, and Netflix has already ordered a sequel.
Netflix also debuted the second season of “Stranger Things” during the quarter on Oct. 27. Other shows to drop during the period include new seasons of “Black Mirror” and “The Crown.”
During the quarter, Netflix increased its subscription prices for its standard and premium services. The price for a standard monthly subscription rose by $1 to $10.99, while the premium rate rose $2 to $13.99.
Netflix projects it will spend between $7.5 billion and $8 billion on content in 2018, up from $6 billion in 2017.