Netflix reports boost in Q4 earnings

<p>Netflix has announced better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter of the year.</p>

Internet TV streaming service Netflix has announced a boost in its fourth quarter earnings, above company expectations.

The firm revealed revenues of $83 million (£55 million) in net income during the final three months of 2014. It was a significant boost from the year before when Netflix made $48 million. The announcement sparked a surge in the company's share price which grew 12 per cent in after-hours trading on Tuesday (January 20th).

Netflix has been growing at a rapid pace since it was founded in 1997. The company became a subscription-based service by 1999 and expanded exponentially in recent years. Originally starting in the US and Canada, Netflix has since moved across to Europe and intends to launch in Australia and New Zealand later in the year.

During the fourth quarter Netflix added 1.9 million US streaming customers taking its US total to 39.1 million while an addition of 4.3 million global subscribers took the company's overall subscriber list to 57.4 million. In a letter to shareholders, Netflix announced plans to roll out the service in 200 countries by 2017 on the back of the performance of the past year.

Reed Hastings, Netflix chief executive, said: "The ability to click and watch and binge episodes has really resonated with people. It has made us realise this is very likely to work on a global basis."

Netflix is not just a streaming service as it has produced a number of original programmes such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Marco Polo. The former, starring Kevin Spacey as uncompromising politician Frank Underwood, is entering its third season and has received critical acclaim, alongside positive viewing figures.

The company added that it would be offering Sony's controversial film, The Interview, to subscribers on January 24th. The film, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, was originally pulled by Sony after cyber attacks on the company led to series of high profile leaks but was eventually released on a limited basis.

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