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Streaming wars

Netflix climbs past 200 million subscribers as it beats forecast

Netflix just reached a key subscriber milestone.

The streaming company on Tuesday said it added 8.5 million paid subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2020, taking it beyond 200 million subscribers, Variety reports. Netflix now has 203.7 million subscribers globally, and it beat its forecast that it would add six million subscribers in the last quarter of the year.

This came after Netflix added fewer subscribers than expected in the third quarter of 2020 with 2.2 million, as Axios reported. But the company had previously beat subscriber forecasts as COVID-19 lockdowns prompted consumers to flock to streaming, and it said Tuesday it added over 36 million subscribers in 2020. As Variety notes, this was the company's biggest annual subscriber gain ever, more than the 28.6 million it added in 2018. Netflix previously passed 100 million paid subscribers in 2017, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Netflix reaching the 200 million subscriber milestone also comes after the company recently touted its 2021 film slate, announcing that, amid uncertainty about the future of the theatrical business during the pandemic, it will release at least one new movie to streaming every week this year.