Netflix Revenue and Usage Statistics (2021)

Mansoor Iqbal

Updated: November 12, 2021

Netflix was conceived in 1997 by Reed Hastings (the current CEO) and Marc Randolph. Both had previous ventures in the West Coast tech scene, Hastings was the owner of debugging software firm Pure Atria, while Randolph had co-founded and then sold MicroWarehouse for $700 million.

Originally a DVD-rental service, in the same vein as Blockbuster, Netflix broke ground with its mail order service. It introduced a subscription model at the turn of the millennium, which allowed subscribers to rent as many DVDs as they wanted, without incurring any additional costs which were the bane of many Blockbuster-fans lives.

Even before the streaming service, Netflix was focused on recommendation algorithms and unique experiences through its website. Even with these advances in technology, Netflix was hit hard in the dot-com bubble and was offered $50 million by Blockbuster in 2001.

Netflix rejected the offer and a year later IPO’d on the Nasdaq. It wouldn’t be until 2007 that it rolled out its video streaming service, which separated Netflix from Blockbuster and many of the other DVD-rental services which went out of business in the 2010s.

It took a few years for the streaming service to make inroads, but once it did Netflix pivoted to a platform only approach, canning the DVD-rental service and launching Netflix worldwide. Today, only citizens in North Korea, Syria, China and Crimea are denied the binge-watching pleasures of the streaming service.

In 2012, Netflix also upped the ante with its own programming, which started with Lilyhammer but was boosted heavily by House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, two of the company’s most watched TV shows. Netflix started to pick up awards for its TV shows, surpassing HBO in 2018 for the amount of Emmy nominations.

Netflix has also distributed several noteworthy films, including Beasts of No Nation, Marriage Story, Roma and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Netflix earned more nominations at the 2020 Oscars than any other film studio.

But in terms of awards, the first Emmy Netflix ever won, in 2012, is perhaps the most illustrative: an Emmy Engineering Award, given to individuals or organisations that have profoundly changed the way we watch television. Netflix, it is fair to say, has profoundly done this.

As Netflix has grown in revenue and subscribers, it has enticed others to copy its formula. Amazon launched its Prime Video subscription service at around the same time and has been a heavy spender, as it looks to replicable Netflix’s performance in awards.

Disney also launched its own streaming service in November 2019, and several American cable services have launched their own in 2020, such as HBO Max, Peacock and Showtime. The next five years will undoubtedly be harder for Netflix, as it tries to keep its fans loyal when so much more stuff is available.

We have collected data and statistics on Netflix. Read on below to find out more.

Netflix key statistics

  • Netflix generated $24.9 billion revenue in 2020, a 23.8% increase year-on-year
  • $11.45 billion of Netflix’s revenue was generated in North America, its largest market
  • Netflix had an operating profit of $4.5 billion in 2020, a 73% increase year-on-year
  • In 2021, Netflix had 209 million subscribers worldwide

Netflix overview

Launch date 29 August 1997, 15 January 2007 (streaming service launch) 
HQ Los Gatos, California
People Reed Hastings (co-CEO, founder), Ted Sarandos (co-CEO, chief content officer), Greg Peters (COO, CPO)
Business type Public (NASDAQ: NFLX)
Industry Video streaming

Netflix revenue

Netflix annual revenue

Year Revenue
2011 $3.1 billion
2012 $3.5 billion
2013 $4.3 billion
2014 $5.4 billion
2015 $6.7 billion
2016 $8.8 billion
2017 $11.6 billion
2018 $15.7 billion
2019 $20.1 billion
2020 $24.9 billion

Netflix revenue by region

Year US & Canada EMEA Latin America Asia-Pacific
2018 $8.28 billion $3.95 billion $2.22 billion $0.94 billion
2019 $10.05 billion $5.54 billion $2.78 billion $1.46 billion
2020 $11.45 billion $7.77 billion $3.13 billion $2.37 billion

Source: Company data

Netflix ARPU by region

Year US & Canada EMEA Latin America Asia-Pacific
2018 $11.28 $10.2  $7.53 $9.19
2019 $13.22  $10.51  $8.18  $9.07 
2020 $13.51  $11.05  $7.12  $9.32 

Note: Values cover Q4 of each respective year

Source: Company data

Netflix profit

Year Profit
2012 $50 million
2013 $228 million
2014 $403 million
2015 $306 million
2016 $379 million
2017 $839 million
2018 $1.6 billion
2019 $2.6 billion
2020 $4.5 billion

Note: Values are operating income 

Source: Company data

Netflix content spend

Year Content spend
2016 $6.88 billion
2017 $8.91 billion
2018 $12 billion
2019 $13.9 billion
2020 $11.8 billion
2021 $17 billion

Sources: Netflix, Variety

Netflix subscribers

Netflix annual subscribers

Year Subscribers
2011 21.5 million
2012 25.7 million
2013 35.6 million
2014 47.9 million
2015 62.7 million
2016 79.9 million
2017 99 million
2018 124.3 million
2019 151.5 million
2020 192.9 million

Note: Values cover Q2 of each respective year 

Netflix subscribers by region

Year US & Canada EMEA Latin America Asia-Pacific
2018 64.7 million 37.8 million 26 million 10.6 million
2019 67.6 million 51.7 million 31.4 million 16.2 million
2020 73.9 million 66.7 million 37.5 million 25.4 mllion

Note: Values cover Q4 of each respective year 

Source: Company data

Netflix share of US streaming minutes

Streaming platform Percentage of streaming
Netflix 34
YouTube 20
Hulu 11
Amazon Prime 8
Disney Plus 4
Other 23

Source: Nielsen

Netflix US library size

Streaming platform Movies TV Shows
Netflix 3,600 1,800
Amazon Prime 26,300 2,700
HBO Max 2,000 580
Hulu 1,230 1,300
Disney Plus 740 280
Peacock Premium 910 345

Source: JustWatch

Most viewed Netflix Originals films

Film Views
10. Fatherhood 74 million
9. Project Power 75 million
8. Army of the Dead 75 million
7. Enola Holmes 76 million
6. The Old Guard 78 million
5. Murder Mystery 83 million
4. 6 Underground 83 million
3. Spenser Confidential 85 million
2. Bird Box 89 million
1. Extraction 99 million

Note: Results are from the first 28 days of the films’ release (July 2021)

Source: Company data

Most viewed Netflix Originals TV series

TV Series Views
10. Fate: The Winx Saga 57 million
9. Emily in Paris 58 million
8. Sweet Tooth 60 million
7. Queen’s Gambit 62 million
6. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness 64 million
5. Stranger Things S3 64 million
4. Money Heist S4 65 million
3. Lupin S1 70 million
2. The Witcher 76 million
1. Bridgerton 82 million

Note: Results are from the first 28 days of the films’ release (August 2021)

Source: Company data

Netflix vs Disney Plus: subscribers

Netflix FAQ

What is the most streamed TV show on Netflix?

The Office is the most streamed piece of content on Netflix, with a total of 57.1 billion minutes (Nielsen)

What is the median age of a Netflix user?

The median age is between 35-44 years old

How many Netflix users use the platform without paying?

An estimated 31% of users do not pay for the platform (Survata)

How many unique recommendations does Netflix have?

Netflix has 1,300 “recommendation clusters”, which are built through user’s viewing preferences

How many hours of Netflix were streaming during coronavirus lockdown?

In the US, an estimated 204 million hours were collectively streamed during the first major coronavirus lockdown in 2020 (Kill the Cable Bill)

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