Last year was extraordinary for Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) as a business and as a stock. The company's compelling Internet-based streaming experience paired with an always-improving library of content drove member count, revenue, and viewing time higher. With the company reporting results for its final quarter of the year last week, here are eight fresh facts that define the company's outstanding 2015.
1. The stock more than doubled. During 2015, Netflix's stock price rose 129%. And even after the stock's pullback in the beginning of 2016, shares are still up 102% since Jan. 1 of last year.
2. Netflix's market capitalization rivaled Time Warner's. Sure, it was only briefly. But the fact that this even happened is a testament to how far Netflix has come. Time Warner just isn't any competitor -- we're talking the parent company of HBO.
3. Netflix added 17 million members in 2015. The streaming company now boasts 75 million members, up 30% from the year before.
4. Total revenue increased 23%. Netflix revenue growth was driven both by an international expansion and price increases in key markets.
5. Netflix added 4 million members internationally in Q4. And the company's growth in international markets appears to be accelerating. Its 4.04 million international net additions in Q4 was more than a million higher than international net additions in any prior quarter. Further, Netflix is guiding for 4.35 million net additions in Q1.
6. Netflix launched in 130 additional countries. Yes, the company took its international expansion very seriously in 2015. Netflix's addressable market of broadband homes expanded from 360 million at the end of 2015 to 550 million by the end of 2016. Netflix is now available essentially anywhere in the world except China.
7. Netflix's share of peak download Internet Traffic in North America is 37%. This is up from 35% in the year-ago quarter and its well ahead of second-place YouTube, which has an 18% share.
8. In 2015, Netflix launched 450 hours of original programming. In Q4 alone, Netflix launched five new original series and its first original feature film. Going forward, Netflix is as ambitious as ever about its original content. In 2016, Netflix plans to launch over 600 hours of programming.
Here's what management had to say about the ambitious plan in the company's fourth-quarter shareholder letter:
"Beyond the sheer volume of content, the breadth of our original programming will continue to expand with current plans for new seasons of 30 or so original series (including The Crown and The Get Down), eight original feature films, 35 new seasons of original series for kids, a dozen documentaries, and nine stand-up comedy specials."
Will 2016 have in store this same sort of success for Netflix? While it definitely looks like revenue and member growth will continue to rise at similar rates during the year, investors shouldn't expect another big year for the stock. With the stock twice as high as it was a year ago, it's already priced for long-term growth. But, despite a rosy valuation, the company's outstanding execution in 2015 makes this stock worth holding for the long haul.