Netflix Passes 50 Million Subscribers

Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black"
Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black"
 

Netflix on Monday reported that it added 1.69 million paying streaming subscribers in the second quarter, enough to put it past 50 million for the first time.

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Netflix had guided analysts to expect less than 1.5 million additions during the quarter, which would have kept it under the 50 million threshold. Instead, the company ended the quarter with 50.05 million streaming subscribers worldwide.

The company reported earning $1.15 per share on revenue of $1.34 billion, which were mixed results compared to Wall Street's expectations.

Analysts predicted the streaming-media company to post earnings per share of $1.16 on $1.33 billion in revenue.

Wall Street appeared mildly impressed with the financial results, as shares were trading 1 percent higher after the closing bell. During the regular session, Netflix shares were up 2 percent to $451.96.

At the end of the quarter, Netflix boasted 35.1 million paying subscribers to its domestic streaming service, up from 28.6 million a year ago. Domestic DVD subscribers fell to 6.2 million from 7.4 million last year.

Paid international streamers rose to 12.9 million from 7 million a year ago. Netflix does not offer an international DVD service.

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In a letter to shareholders on Monday, CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells noted that Netflix surpassed the 50 million threshold 15 years after its service first launched. Mostly, though, the letter focused on original programming, including its upcoming talk show hosted by Chelsea Handler that is slated to debut in early 2016.

"Fewer people are watching talk shows live and are instead watching stacked episodes on DVR or online in the days and weeks following initial airing," the executives wrote. "Our intent is to produce a show with Handler and her team that reflects this shift to on-demand enjoyment and that will appeal to a global audience."

On a conference call with analysts Monday, chief content officer Ted Sarandos enthused over the second season of Orange is the New Black. He also said that if 21st Century Fox were to acquire Time Warner, as Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch proposes, it would not impact Netflix's ability to acquire content from either conglomerate.

Also on the conference call, Hastings gushed about the adoption of international streaming, saying it's "an enormous moment in history" for Netflix.

 

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