Netflix has blamed its decision to hike subscription fees for lower than forecast growth recorded over the past quarter.

The VoD operator added more than 3 million members for the three months to Sept 30 taking its global base to 53.1 million.

Its non-US business accounted for 2 million of these additions, taking its subscriber base across countries including the UK, Netherlands and Germany to 15.8 million. 

However the results were down on the 3.7 million new members previously forecast by the business.

Netflix claimed that the slower-than-expected growth was due to the price increased rolled out earlier this year. In April, it revealed that new subscribers would pay up to $2 more for access to series such as Breaking Bad and Orange is the New Black.

“As best we can tell, the primary cause is the slightly higher prices we now have compared to a year ago. Slightly higher prices result in slightly less growth, other things being equal, and this is manifested more clearly in higher adoption markets such as the US,” it said in a statement.

“We remain happy with the price changes and growth in revenue and will continue to improve our service, with better content, better streaming and better choosing. The effect of slightly higher prices is factored into our Q4 forecast.”

It also pointed to the continued strength of its content, pointing to the launch of Red Productions Company’s Happy Valley and Tiger Aspect & Caryn Mandabach Productions’ Peaky Blinders in the US, as well as its multi-territory licencing deal with Warner Bros Television for series such as Gotham.

“These deals ensure our international members access to hit US television series without having to wait the months or years imposed by traditional TV models and should help to reduce piracy in those markets,” it said.

The potential impact of the launch of standalone access for US consumers to HBO, VoD service HBO Go was also played down.

“It was inevitable and sensible that they would eventually offer their service as a standalone application. Many people will subscribe to both Netflix and HBO since we have different shows, so we think it is likely we both prosper as consumers move to internet TV.”

Revenue for the quarter was up to $1.2bn from $884m compared with the same period the previous year, while operating profit grew to $220m from $92m.