With new competition coming from Disney+ and Apple TV+ starting next month, Netflix has increased its Q3 2019 marketing spending by 9% over the same period a year ago -- with much of the increase going to its rapidly growing international business.
The subscription video-on-demand service spent $553.8 million on all marketing for the most recent period -- versus $510.3 million for the third quarter of 2018.
Looking at the first nine months of this year, Netflix's marketing grew 8% to $1.8 billion.
Much of Netflix's growing marketing budgets went into its international streaming business -- up 14% to $342 million in the third quarter. Netflix’s domestic streaming marketing business remained about the same at $211.8 million, versus $210.6 million in the third quarter of 2018.
All this comes with continued sharply rising revenue and net income at the company -- revenue 31% higher in the third quarter to $5.24 billion; net income 65% more to $665.2 million.
Netflix ended the period with 60.62 million U.S. subscribers -- up around 500,000 versus the second quarter; with international subscribers adding 6.25 million -- now totaling 97.71 million.
This was more or less in line with analysts' expectations. Neil Begley, senior vice president at Moody's, had anticipated around 6.8 million new paid subscribers.
Begley said: "Our long-range forecast for the company remains unchanged: reaching 200 million subscribers by 2021, with an outside chance of reaching that number in late 2020.”