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Netflix closing on HBO subscriber level

Netflix said in a first quarter earnings call on Monday [22] that its US subscriber base grew by more than 2m in the first quarter of 2013, putting the service within range of HBO in the territory.

Powered by the company’s original series House Of Cards, US subscribers reached 29.2m, a number that compares favourably with HBO’s subscriber base of 28.7m by the end of 2012.

The company, which is preparing to launch in an unnamed European market in the second half of the year, said the number of international subscribers stood at 7.1m following a rise of approximately one million since December. Worldwide, Netflix trails HBO by a long way as the latter’s level is around 114m.

CEO Reed Hastings said House Of Cards had had a small impact on the company thus far but further data was required. Netflix may run as many as 20 original series a year – Hemlock Grove debuted last week – but it needs more data on the performance of original series.

It also emerged that Netflix will become more selective in its acquisitions and will not renew its deal with Viacom at the end of the year, while it seeks to hold on to certain programming gems.

First quarter income came to $2.7m compared to a loss of $4.6m in the same period a year ago. Revenue was $638.6m against $506.7m a year ago and shares climbed just over $37 to $211.3 in after-hours trading.

Netflix will introduce an $11.99-a-month plan that allows users to receive four separate streams to devices.

Readers' comments (1)

  • sandip mahal

    Needs more data is rather telling on their original programming agenda but make no mistake, the Kevin Spacey vehicle was always going to be a loss leader that drives punters in as overall subscribers base. It's always good to shake up the traditional business model

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