The results announced Wednesday are the latest evidence of Netflix's increasingly important role in home and mobile entertainment.
The fourth-quarter growth left Netflix with 20 million subscribers at the end of 2010, a 63 percent increase from 2009. Management expects to add as many as 2.8 million subscribers in the first quarter.
Netflix Inc. earned 47 million, or 87 cents per share, in the October-December period. That was a 52 percent increase from $31 million, or 56 cents per share, last year.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 71 cents per share.
Revenue period rose 34 percent from the prior year to $596 million.