Netflix had a good quarter, or so the television screams at me. The Depression Machine added 7.05 million subscribers during the last three months of 2016, the shittiest year in human history. More than 5 million of those were from the country “International.” It was Netflix’s largest quarterly subscriber growth, writes Christine Wang at CNBC.
Netflix claimed about $2.48 billion in revenue for the quarter, which would be enough to pay for roughly two people’s law school debt – primarily accrued by watching Netflix for hours on end.
To get this subscriber growth, Netflix has been throwing money into fire pits known as Original Content – stuff like “Luke Cage” and the third season of “Black Mirror,” a series which consistently warns people against watching too much television. Wang writes, “In the fourth quarter, Netflix said its free cash flow deficit grew to $639 million, compared to $276 million” last year. She adds, “For fiscal 2017, Netflix said its free cash flow deficit will be about $2 billion in 2017, compared to $1.7 billion in 2016.”
I once tried to explain to a debt collector that I had a “free cash flow deficit” and that, as my investors, they should see that as a good thing, but it didn’t work.
Tood Spangler at Variety decides to get ~all political~ in his piece by writing that the ascension of the Penultimate Beast known as President Donald Trump could tank any net neutrality enforcement by the FCC. Netflix addressed this in its letter to shareholders, saying the decision to give telecoms the unfettered ability to fuck with our Internet is “unlikely to materially affect our domestic margins or service quality because we are now popular enough with consumers to keep our relationships with ISPs stable.”
The News Editorial Board ran that by our Corporate-Speak Translator – a man with a Business Associate’s Degree named Jorge – who said that this means Netflix will – quote – “fuck up any ISP who tries to throttle their streaming video.” They can still charge you hundreds of dollars per month for the privilege of having those Wi-Fi bars light up on your phone and potentially shut down your access to a competitor’s video content – but Netflix – Netflix is safe.
Todd proceeds to quote Netflix’s letter in which it still proceeds to pay lip service to Net Neutrality as ~a good thing, we guess, in theory.~
Back at CNBC, Wang concludes her story by noting that Netflix “projected it would invest in original content for multiple international markets during the fourth quarter.” Presumably, this means at some point Netflix will make shows specifically to play in non-US markets, so my aunts and uncles can watch the Colombian version of Duck Dynasty. And in America, people can keep watching Narcos. Everyone wins.