Netflix added 5.59 million total net subscribers in the quarter, up from 4.33 million additions in the previous year. The company had 4.04 million net subscriber additions outside of the United States, easily beating expectations for 3.51 million and up from 2.43 million in the prior-year period.
"In terms of the outperformance, it was pretty broad-based," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a video call after the results.
Earlier this month, Netflix said it had expanded service to more than 190 countries. The international push comes amid increased spending on a range of original programming, which contributed to a decrease in fourth-quarter net income from the previous year.
Ted Sarandos, head of content acquisition at Netflix, acknowledged in the video call that original programming spending as a percentage of costs grew in the quarter.
Fourth-quarter domestic net subscriber growth of 1.56 million came in slightly below estimates. Netflix said the transition to chip-based credit and debit cards, which it highlighted as a problem last year, "continues to be a background issue."
"I'm not worried about the U.S. because it's totally saturated. Everybody in the U.S. has Netflix already or steals it from somebody else. So this international growth is where it's at, and they are just killing it already," said Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki, on CNBC's "Closing Bell."
The company said its average subscriber price grew 4 to 5 percent in the quarter from the previous year.