Netflix to spend over $1bn on marketing as international business turns a profit

Netflix is to spend over $1 billion on marketing this year as it looks to boost subscriber numbers.

The streaming company made the pledge as it revealed its international business registered a profit for the first time on the back of revenues that hit the $1 billion mark.

The House of Cards producer said it would invest more in programmatic advertising as it looks to increase its ability to do individualised marketing “at scale” and to deliver “the right ad to the right person at the right time”.

Last month, it signed a wide-ranging deal with Telenor that included joint marketing activities.

Revenues jumped 35 percent to $2.6 billion as the company’s launch in 130 new countries last January paid dividends.

International sales hit $1.05 billion, up from $948 million in the previous quarter and up from $652 million 12 months ago.

Customer numbers outside of the US hit 47.9 million but growth slowed to 3.5 million net additions, down from 5.1 million in the previous quarter.

Netflix said it viewed the change “as mostly noise in the long-term growth trend and adoption of internet TV”.

The company made a first-ever profit of $43 million on its international operations during the quarter, but warned of a loss in Q2 due to continued investments.

In the US, revenues and profits both grew, hitting $1.5 billion and $606 million respectively.

Customer numbers in its home market jumped by 1.4 million during the quarter to reach 50.85 million.

“We have a large market opportunity ahead of us,” Netflix said.

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