Netflix added 8.8 million new subscribers in Q4, the bulk of which were outside of the US. It also picked up a new movie and show from Asia, where 1.75 million net subscribers were added in Q4 2019.
Of its total subscriber growth, 420,000 were added in the US and 6.26 million overseas in the year-end 2019 quarter. Netflix attributes that growth to an uptick in worldwide adoption of streaming video, but also its broad slate of original programming—some of which Netflix just added to today.
The SVOD picked up a new CG-animated Pokémon movie to debut exclusively on the streamer on February 27 everywhere except Japan and Korea. Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution is inspired by one of the popular stories in the long-running franchise.
Netflix also picked up anime series Scissor Seven (pictured) from Ankama’s kids and family distributor Planet Nemo for a worldwide (excluding China) launch. The 24 x 14-minute episode first season launched on January 10 as a Netflix Original. Those 24 eps have been broken into two seasons with the second launch not yet announced. Produced by AHA Entertainment, Scissor Seven was the only Chinese animation selection for the official competition at Annecy International Animation Film Festival in recent years, when it was picked in 2018.
Netflix points out in its Q4 shareholder’s letter that “local audiences love local stories” and that local originals were the most popular 2019 titles in many countries, including India, Korea, Japan, Turkey, Thailand, Sweden and the UK.
The SVOD attributes slowing US and Canada growth, which only totaled 550,000 new subscribers (down from 1.75 million the year before), to an increase in competitive US launches during the quarter. Those recent launches include Apple TV+ which rolled out on November 1, followed by Disney+ on November 12. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock are both set to launch this spring in the US, which could be an issue for the streamer.