Netflix about to cross 100-million subscriber mark

Posted April 19, 2017

The streaming service gained just 5 million subscribers globally in the last quarter, it said yesterday, missing the 5.3 million additions FactSet analysts predicted and the 5.2 million Netflix itself forecasted last quarter.

"The disclosure that Netflix is going to pass the 100mn subscriber count this weekend suggests it is trending ahead of schedule towards its sub guidance for 2Q17", wrote Mark May of Citi Research, who has a neutral rating.

Over the past ten years what really did it for Netflix was the emergence of phones and tablets that enabled people to watch videos with mobility, said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.

Netflix added 1.42 million domestic customers in the first quarter, below a 1.5 million estimate and guidance.

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The on-demand video streaming website Netflix is expected to generate 100 million subscribers over this weekend.

"Everybody watches TV and almost everybody has the internet, so I don't see anything that's going to stop Netflix from getting to most people in the United States and then eventually hopefully most people around the world", Hastings said.

Helped by a rally in technology stocks, Netflix has soared 15 percent this year. The online streaming giant also confirms that it's made a deal with Sandler to release four more films exclusively with Netflix.

The Los Gatos, California company now has a market value of about $63 billion. However Hastings is hopeful they have ways to catch up with YouTube. HBO has 134 million subscribers worldwide, including viewers paying for an internet-only version of the channel that was inspired by Netflix's success.

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Netflix's investment in original programming has inspired competing technology companies and TV networks up their spending, creating more competition for attention and eyeballs. Netflix's subscriptions range from $8 to $12 per month, with the most popular option at $10.

The model works from a customer viewpoint because it is such a great value, Pachter said. Netflix said it will spend $1 billion marketing in 2017 to bring more attention to its shows.

But if it wants to keep investors happy, the company will eventually have to improve its relatively low profit margin. Global net additions were down from 5.1 million in the previous quarter to 3.5 million. Revenue will be $2.75 billion, versus Wall Street projections of $2.76 billion.

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