Netflix’s subscriber base will more than double in the next five years, growing to 175 million by 2020, up from 75 million in 2015, according to ARK Investment Management.
ARK analyst James Wang said this growth will be fueled by aggressive international expansion of its streaming service, increasing broadband penetration, and a growing library of content that caters to different audiences across the world.
In January, Netflix expanded its streaming service to cover 190 countries world wide. With the exception of China, Netflix essentially covers the whole globe.
Wang said Netflix’s addressable market is best measured by the number broadband connections.
In 2014, there were 750 million fixed-line broadband subscribers globally. ARK estimates broadband subscribers could reach roughly 925 million by 2020. The primary drivers will be growth in China and other developing countries.
Earlier, Analysys Mason has noted that Netflix’s expansion will include little localized content for new country additions, which makes subtitling and dubbing of foreign content an essential part of Netflix's expansion plans. Netflix will face some local and regional competition, as well as issues with consumers' willingness to pay.
Not having original content localized to many of its new markets, Analysys Mason said Netflix’s services will compare unfavorably to local solutions as a result. Language issues may limit appeal to the mass market.