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Squid Game, Witcher lead Netflix to 222 million subscriptions

Netflix today reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2022, and the streaming giant said it ended the year with 221.84 million paid subscribers worldwide. That’s up 8.28 million from the third quarter, and 8.9 percent year over year.

Leading the way, the company said, was the return of original content like Season 2 of The Witcher, with 484 million hours viewed in the first 28 days, and You, with 468 million hours viewed. Squid Game, which premiered at the tail end of the third quarter, is now the biggest TV season on Netflix with a whopping 1.65 billion hours in the first four weeks. And Spanish import La Casa de Papel (which is known as Money Heist in the United States), entered its final season and is now at more than 6.7 billion hours viewed.

Lilly Collins and Samuel Arnold in Emily in Paris on Netflix.
Lilly Collins and Samuel Arnold in Emily in Paris on Netflix. Netflix

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And that’s just the traditional series side of things. On the movie front, the fourth quarter saw the premiere of Red Notice, with 364 million hours viewed in the first 28 days.

“Even in a world of uncertainty and increasing competition, we’re optimistic about our long-term growth prospects as streaming supplants linear entertainment around the world,” Netflix wrote in its letter to shareholders. “We’re continually improving Netflix so that we can please our members, grow our share of leisure time and lead in this transition.”

Netflix is anticipating a slowdown in paid additions in the first quarter of 2022, mostly because more content is landing in March versus January, with Season 2 of Bridgerton and The Adam Project leading the way. Netflix also noted that acquisition growth hasn’t returned to pre-COVID levels. “We think this may be due to several factors,” Netflix wrote, “including the ongoing COVID overhang and macroeconomic hardship in several parts of the world like [Latin America].”

On the financial side of things, Netflix finished the quarter with $6.02 billion cash on hand, and another $2 billion in other assets.

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