The online video service Netflix grew strongly towards the end of the year thanks to series hits such as "The Queen's Gambit", "Bridgerton" and "The Crown" despite intensified competition.
In the three months to the end of December, the number of paying subscribers rose by 8.5 million to just under 204 million, as Netflix announced on Tuesday after the US market closed.
This was the first time the 200 million user mark was broken.
The numbers clearly exceeded our own forecast and the expectations of the analysts.
The share reacted after the trading day with a price jump of 13 percent.
Revenues grew year-on-year by more than 20 percent to $ 6.6 billion.
The profit was, however, with 542 million dollars (447 million euros) a little less than a year ago.
Netflix is fighting financially strong competitors who want to steal customers from the streaming market leader with newer video services with high investments.
Disney +, for example, is experiencing very strong growth, but other services such as HBO Max or Peacock are also putting Netflix under pressure alongside more established rivals such as Amazon Prime or Hulu.
They all benefit from the streaming boom caused by the Corona crisis.
Even if the letter to the shareholders said that 2020 was an "incredibly difficult year", Netflix was undoubtedly one of the big winners.
The fact that cinemas remained closed because of the pandemic and that many people were stuck at home brought the company an enormous increase in customers.
Overall, thanks to the hype surrounding the “Tiger King” series, Netflix gained a record 37 million new subscriptions and increased sales by almost a quarter to around 25 billion dollars.
Operating profit shot up 76 percent to $ 4.6 billion.
The company from Los Gatos, California, also has a good position on the stock exchange, with its shares increasing by around 67 percent last year.
Another boost after the stock market closed was the announcement by management in the annual report that it was considering buying back shares for the first time since 2011 to maintain prices.
Meanwhile, the outlook for the current first quarter was relatively cautious, with Netflix predicting an increase of six million to almost 210 million users.
Most analysts had expected a higher forecast here.