Netflix's domestic subscriber growth met Wall Street's expectations, but Wall Street really liked how well the company in the rest of the world.
The company said it added 7.05 million subscribers to its service during Q4. About 1.93 million came from domestic subscribers, but the lion's share – 5.12 million accounts – came from international customers. The number of total additions wildly beat the projected 5.2 million that Netflix projected during Q3.
Netflix came in at $2.47 billion revenue for the quarter, in line with the Thomson Reuters projection. Its beat the earns per share estimate, reporting 15 cents compared to the estimated 13 cents.
Analysts were expecting Netflix to have a positive quarter, based on projected international audience subscriber growth. The company said late 2016 shows including "The Crown" and "Luke Cage" bolstered its subscriber numbers. Netflix pledged to spend $6 billion on content in 2017.
Unlike Hulu which is competing against live TV and cable providers, Netflix is going after audiences who are looking for content to watch in their leisure time, Forrester principal analyst Jim Nail said to CNBC. The question becomes is Netflix's $7.99 to $11.99 a month worth it for the kinds of shows and movies you can watch, he added. And, as the subscriber number show, the answer is yes.
"Their original content and doing it at such a high level of quality really takes Netflix out of that comparative decision [against other entertainment providers]," said Nail.