With high inflation and ever-increasing competition, Netflix struggled in 2022. But by the end of the year, the streaming pioneer was back on track with strong growth.

At the streaming giant Netflix, the era of company founder Reed Hastings is coming to an end. After more than two decades, the 62-year-old has retired from top management, as the company announced on Thursday after the US stock market closed. The resignation followed a surprisingly strong final quarter. Not least thanks to the success of the documentary series “Harry

“Even founders need to evolve!” Hastings wrote on the company blog. Since 2020, he has formed a dual board of directors with long-time top manager Ted Sarandos at Netflix. Hastings is now taking a back seat, but as executive chairman of the board he is likely to retain a great deal of influence. Netflix promoted Greg Peters, who was previously responsible for day-to-day business on the board, to succeed him as co-boss alongside Sarandos. Hastings explained that he had already increasingly left the management to the two in the past two and a half years.

After the past year had been disappointing for Netflix for long stretches, the conclusion turned out to be much better than expected. In the three months to the end of December, the streaming service gained a total of 7.66 million new customers – analysts had only expected an average of 4.5 million. Overall, Netflix had 230.75 million user accounts by the end of the year. Next to “Harry

“2022 was a difficult year with a bumpy start, but a brighter finish,” said the annual report, looking at the weak first half of the year. Netflix experienced a veritable rush of customers at the beginning of the corona pandemic, but then fell into a crisis with intermittent customer dwindling. The competition from financially strong competitors such as Walt Disney or Amazon increased and due to high inflation, customers’ money was no longer so easy. In the meantime, however, Netflix is ​​doing better again: In the fourth quarter, revenues grew by around two percent compared to the same period last year to 7.9 billion dollars (7.3 billion euros).

Although net income fell from $607 million to $55 million, Netflix forecast an increase to $1.3 billion for the current quarter. The company expects sales to grow to $8.2 billion. Overall, the quarterly report was well above the forecasts of Wall Street experts. Netflix shares responded after hours with a plus of over seven percent. In the past three months, the price has already increased by almost 18 percent. A year ago, however, it was still 38 percent higher.