Apple has been signing and ordering new TV shows and movies at a swift pace recently, but Netflix doesn’t seem to be worried. The company released its Q4 2018 earnings today and reiterated that its focus isn’t on upcoming competition, but rather improving the experience for existing customers.
Netflix reported revenue of $4.19 billion for the quarter, slightly below expectations of $4.21. In terms of new subscribers, however, Netflix reported 7.31 million new users internationally and 1.53 million in the United States. That’s higher than Wall Street expectations of 6.14 million additions internationally and 1.51 domestically.
In terms of competition, Netflix took a more aggressive stance this quarter than it has in past quarters. The streaming company downplayed competition from the likes of Hulu, saying that it is “small compared to YouTube for viewing time.” Netflix also noted that Hulu is “successful in the U.S., but non-existent in Canada,” whereas its own service has equal penetration in both markets.
Netflix also touted that when YouTube went down globally “for a few minutes in October,” its own sign ups and viewership “spiked for that time.”
Interestingly, Netflix added that Fortnite is a bigger competitor than HBO. This is likely due to the higher percentage of users who opt to play Fortnite rather than watch Netflix, compared to those who opt for watching HBO instead of Netflix. Netflix doesn’t offer additional color here, though.
Ultimately, Netflix says there are “thousands of competitors in this highly-fragmented market,” but its focus is on customer experience. Unlike past earnings releases, Netflix doesn’t specifically call out Apple’s looming streaming service, instead pointing towards Disney+, Amazon, and “others” as its competition.
“There are thousands of competitors in this highly-fragmented market vying to entertain consumers and low barriers to entry for those with great experiences. Our growth is based on how good our experience is, compared to all the other screen time experiences from which consumers can choose. Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon, or others, but on how we can improve our experience for our members.”
Apple’s forthcoming streaming platform still doesn’t have a launch date, but the company has made a handful of major content deals recently. Further, Tim Cook recently touted that Apple has “new services” coming this year, but we don’t yet know when.
Keep up with all of Apple’s TV plans in our full guide here.
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