Netflix Execs Double Down on ‘Evolving’

'We've evolved and we're going to continue to evolve,' co-CEO Greg Peters said during the quarterly investor call.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos
According to Netflix’s leadership, the company is evolving. Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

In the first three months of this year at Netflix (NFLX), “evolution” has been the name of the game. The streamer’s earnings release and its subsequent earnings call emphasized how it’s shed its novice appearance over the past few years and become a powerhouse brand. Netflix’s earnings report shows the company added 9.3 million subscribers in the quarter ending in March, for a total of 269.6 million subscribers globally. Over the same period last year, Netflix added 1.8 million subscribers. This year, the company has increased its revenue by 15 percent, to $9.37 billion—compared to $8.16 billion in the first quarter of 2023. Operating income increased to $2.63 billion from $1.71 billion.       

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In February, Netflix hired a new film chief, Dan Lin—producer of the live-action Avatar the Last Airbender—to replace Scott Stuber. Addressing the executive shakeup during the Morgan Stanley TMT conference in March, chief financial officer Spencer Neumann said the film studio at Netflix had “come a long way” and that, rather than changing its strategy under Lin, Netflix would continue “to evolve and get better.” The New York Times wrote that Netflix content executives were looking to improve the quality and range of its studio films. While Netflix did not provide a comment for that story, co-CEO Ted Sarandos acknowledged the piece during Thursday’s earnings investor call and relayed a similar message.  

“There is no appetite to make fewer films, but there is an unlimited appetite to make better films always,” Sarandos said. “Even though we have made and we are making great films, we want to make them better, of course.” Improving the quality and range of Netflix content extends outside the studio; the company wrote in its shareholder letter that it must do the same for TV, games and live programming.

Co-CEO Greg Peters echoed this sentiment regarding the Netflix brand on Thurday’s call when discussing why they’ve decided to stop reporting quarterly subscriber numbers and average revenue per member starting in 2025. The company still has a separate biannual engagement report, which will continue to share some details.   

“We’ve evolved, and we’re going to continue to evolve, developing our revenue model and adding things like advertising and our extra member feature, things that aren’t directly connected to the number of members,” Peters said. “This change is motivated by wanting to focus on what we see as the key metrics that we think matter most in the business.”

Netflix Execs Double Down on ‘Evolving’