Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has announced that “Bird Box,” an original production of the streaming company that stars Sandra Bullock, was watched by 45 million accounts in its first week, a record. Given that Netflix has about 140 million subscribers around the world, the figure is particularly impressive.
Netflix has been attacked by investors for putting too much money into new film production rather than simply licensing films from other producers. It has put or will put billions of dollars into these series and movies. Some have been critically acclaimed. Netflix management says that the effort makes it more likely people will take subscriptions and renew them. While the company’s revenue and subscription count continue to surge, the jury is out on whether original productions are a major reason or, alternatively, a waste of money.
At the end of the third quarter, Netflix had 137 million subscribers worldwide. Revenue for the period was $4 billion, up from $3 billion in the same period the year before.
There is no way to calculate exactly how many people will subscribe to Netflix, or renew, because of “Bird Box.” So the Netflix announcement does not mean much.