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Netflix: ad spend 2014-2020

Netflix has maintained a steady rate of investments to advertise its shows up until 2017, but with the expansion to new markets and constant release of own content, the video-on-demand company significantly increased their advertising spending in 2018, by an impressive 700 million U.S. dollars, and further 70 million in 2019. Yet, by the end of 2020, it dropped to 1.45 billion U.S. dollars. Similar to its advertising expenses, Netflix also saw a constant growth in its quarterly revenues worldwide between 2012 to 2019. Netflix is operational in 190 countries as of 2019, except Syria, North Korea and China.

Netflix: subscriber growth and advertising scenario

As of late 2019, Netflix had 167 million paid subscribers worldwide, with more than half their customer base being international. The video streaming platform recorded more than 93 million international subscribers in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the 61 million domestic subscribers. Netflix has major competition from Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, but generates larger subscription revenues than both companies combined.
In 2018, a major number of Netflix subscribers said they would keep their subscription if the service included ads, with 41 percent saying that they would do so even if the subscription fees remained the same. The same year – Netflix showed viewers ads promoting Netflix’s other shows which was not well received by the subscribers. The company’s officials said that Netflix will not run advertisements unlike other competitors. However, industry experts are of the opinion that Netflix needs to offer advertising space for growth, and to offset its original content costs.

Advertising expenses of Netflix from 2014 to 2020

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Release date

January 2021



Survey time period

2014 to 2020

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