Netflix says it now has 104 million subscribers worldwide

NETFLIXJuly 18: Netflix shares surged on Monday after the firm said it now has about 104 million subscribers, a larger-than-expected number that boosted revenues.

Company leaders said the gains are a sign that investment in new shows and movies is paying off as online television becomes more popular.

The firm is behind shows such as 13 Reasons Why, about teen suicide, and the political drama House of Cards.

Boss Reed Hastings said it was “the rewards of doing great content”.

Netflix shares rose more than 10% in after-hours trading following the announcement of its second quarter earnings.

Company leaders said new content creation was critical to competing against other online rivals such as Amazon and YouTube, as well as traditional television.

They said generating new content also meant streaming services were expanding the size of the overall market.

“The largely exclusive nature of each service’s content means that we are not direct substitutes for each other, but rather complements,” company leaders wrote in a letter to shareholders.

“The shift from linear TV to on-demand viewing is so big and there is so much leisure time, many internet TV services will be successful.”

International growth

Netflix said it added about 5.2 million members during the quarter, most from overseas. International members now account for about half of Netflix subscribers, the firm said.

The firm has cultivated those audiences with movies such as Okja, a film made by one of South Korea’s top directors about a young girl’s quest to recover a giant companion from a multi-national corporation.

The firm also said it expects international members to help boost profits for the year – a first for that part of the business.

The growth helped produce $2.8bn in quarterly revenue, up more than 32% from the same period in 2016. Netflix said it expects revenue to reach nearly $3bn in the third quarter.

Profits for the three months that ended in June were $65.6m, up about 60% year-on-year. Company leaders also told investors they plan to continue to invest more in content as the firm grows. bbc.com

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