Netflix Pushes Past 50 Million Subs

To The Docket: More Market Launches, 4K Fare, & Gift Card Options
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Despite a recent price increase for new subscribers and the addition of a standard-definition-only streaming plan, Netflix had no trouble adding subscribers in the second quarter, signing on 1.69 million during the period, extending its total to 50.05 million, of which 47.99 million are paid subs.

Netflix added 1.12 million international streaming subs, giving it a total of 13.8 million in that category.

Looking ahead, the company expects to add 3.69 million subs worldwide in the third quarter, including 2.36 million in its international markets -- enough to push its sub base past 53.74 million.

On the financial front, Netflix generated $1.14 billion in total streaming revenue, versus $837 million in the year-ago quarter, and expects to pull in $1.22 billion in the third quarter. Netflix posted net income of $71 million ($1.15 per share) in the second quarter, and expects to post net income of $55 million (89 cents per share) in the third quarter.

Its international business swung to a loss of $15 million in the second quarter, narrowed from a loss of $66 million in the year-ago quarter. Netflix anticipates a loss of $42 million from its international business as it pushes into new markets.

In its letter to shareholders, Netflix said it will launch in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg in September.

“This launch into markets with over 60 million broadband households will significantly increase our European presence and raise our current international addressable market to over 180 million broadband households, or 2x the number of current U.S. broadband households,” the company said.

Netflix doesn’t release specific usage figures, but did note that the release of season two of Orange Is The New Black was the most-watched series in every Netflix territory during its first month of availability.

This fall, Netflix will introduce physical gift cards in select stores in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Germany, hopeful that they will extend its brand and accessibility in existing markets, and to provide an “easier alternative” for consumers in new Netflix markets “with developing online payments.”

Netflix added that its app for the coming Android TV platform will be offered on TVs from Sony, Sharp and others in the coming months.

Netflix said it’s shooting several original series in 4K, including Marco Polo, Sense8 and Narcos. Its currently, albeit limited 4K streaming library, offers House of Cards season two, all seasons of Breaking Bad, nature documentaries from Moving Art, and Ultra HD versions of a small set of movies, including the recent addition of Smurfs 2, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2.

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