Netflix subscribers grow but quarterly profit tumbles

US video-streaming giant Netflix has reported a surge in new subscribers lured by a cheaper service supported by advertising. But it still posted more than 90-percent drop in net profit for the three months to December.

Netflix said Thursday it had 230.75 million subscribers worldwide as of the end of December. That is nearly 7.7 million more than the figure at the end of September.

The company introduced its low priced ad-supported subscription plan in 12 countries in November. Netflix says it is satisfied with the results.

Net profit for the quarter came in at 55.28 million dollars. That is down 91 percent from a year earlier, partly due to an increase in program publicity expenses.
Netflix also announced that its co-founder Reed Hastings is stepping down as co-CEO and moving into a new role as executive chairman.