Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 4:36 PM ET|Posted by Will RichmondIt's official; Netflix has hit the milestone of 20 million subscribers, though just barely. Netflix added 3.08 million subscribers in Q4 '10, beating the high end of its guidance of 2,767,000 subscribers by about 10.9% to end 2010 with 20.01 million subs. It's the first time Netflix has added more than 3 million subscribers in a quarter; for the year it added over 7.7 million subs. To put the 3.08 million in perspective, it is more than 4 times the amount of subs added just 2 years ago in Q4 '08.
Netflix is very bullish on Q1 '11, providing domestic guidance of between 21.9 million and 22.8 million subscribers, which means a slight beat of the high end would mean a second consecutive quarter of 3 million additions. Netflix is also offering international guidance for the first time, of between 750K and 900K subscribers, which is all Canada. Netflix pointed to 3 ways it is achieving a virtuous cycle of subscriber growth: more content, more word-of-mouth and more R&D to improve the UI. More to come.