Netflix added a record 8.3 million subscribers in its fourth quarter — the company had told Wall Street to expect 6.3 million. That growth isn’t coming cheap: Netflix will spend up to $8 billion on content in 2018, and burn up to $4 billion doing it. All of that sounds good to investors: Netflix now has a market cap of more than $100 billion for the first time. Netflix now has some 118 million subscribers; here’s a look at its astonishing growth since 2012. CEO Reed Hastings says he plans to subscribe to Disney’s forthcoming rival streaming service for his own personal watching, even though Disney plans to pull its content from Netflix.
Bitcoin-trading broker Coinbase is experiencing an unusual problem for a Silicon Valley startup — too many investors are trying to get in.The Coinbase app lets you buy, sell and store bitcoin; the six-year-old company crossed $1 billion in revenue last year, and has likely doubled its August valuation of $1.6 billion. Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing public companies that change their name or business model in a bid to capitalize on the hype surrounding blockchain and bitcoin. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
Rupert Murdoch shared his idea for fixing Facebook’s shifting relationship with publishers — the social giant should just pay them, he said yesterday. In a statement, Murdoch said he thought Facebook and Google should start paying publishers the same way cable companies pay for content — with carriage fees, which he said “would have a minor impact on Facebook’s profits but a major impact on the prospects for publishers and journalists.” Reminder: Murdoch has been complaining — and making peace with — big internet companies for a long time. For its part, Facebook said yesterday that social media has a mixed effect on democracies — it gives many a voice, but also paves the way for false news, foreign interference and harassment. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]
Meanwhile a UK regulator has rejected Murdoch’s bid to take control of Sky, the British satellite TV company. Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox may try to appeal, or it may punt and hand the problem over to Disney, which is buying a big chunk of Fox. [New York Times]
Intel advised its customers to stop deploying a rushed, buggy patch for the vast Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities. Users were reporting spontaneous computer reboots and “other unpredictable system behavior” after installing Intel’s fix; the company said yesterday that users should skip the patches until a better version could be deployed. Linux creator Linus Torvalds, who is readying the final version of Linux 4.15, called the patches “garbage.” [Russell Brandom / The Verge]
President Trump signed a short-term spending bill that would fund the federal government for another three weeks, ending a three-day government shutdown. Democrats joined Republicans in an 81-to18 vote to fund the government through Feb. 8, in exchange for a (non-binding) promise from GOP leaders to address the fate of young, undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers; the bill would also extend the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program for another six years. [The New York Times]
Recode Presents ...
Do you have questions about Facebook’s recent changes to its news algorithms? We do, too. On an upcoming episode of the Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast, Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode will be talking about Facebook’s News Feed changes, plus the company’s recent admission that Facebook might not be good for democracy. Social media reporter Kurt Wagner joins them. Send your questions today to TooEmbarrassed@recode.net, or tweet them with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed.
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.