Netflix nears 100 million subscribers

Netflix: Nope, we don't want sports

However, Netflix distinctly had a vision before those devices became so universal.

Netflix missed estimates for subscriber growth for first quarter 2017. Netflix ended March with almost 48 million subscribers outside the U.S.

Subscriber rolls, the most closely watched measure of Netflix's growth, rose by just under 5 million globally in the first quarter, behind analysts' projection of 5.18 million, according to FactSet StreetAccount.

Netflix said it viewed the change "as mostly noise in the long-term growth trend and adoption of internet TV".

In comparison, Netflix gained 7.05 million subscribers in the prior quarter, raising expectations in the market. Worldwide additions rose by 3.53 million, down from 5.12 million in the fourth quarter of last year and down from 4.51 million in the year-ago quarter. All over the world, HBO has around 134 million subscribers and provides the internet-only option.

Discussing competition, Netflix predicted the launch of new over-the-top subscription TV services in the United States - like YouTube TV and Hulu's forthcoming TV offering - will not have "much of an impact" on the business as Netflix is "largely complementary" to pay TV packages.

Netflix's investment in original programming has inspired competing technology companies and TV networks up their spending, creating more competition for attention and eyeballs. The surge in subscribers of US-based Netflix comes after it invested heavily in overseas markets.

The model works from a customer viewpoint because it is such a great value, Pachter said.

Aggressive marketing is still a huge part of Netflix's expenditure - $1bn expected this year - so it shows those new subscribers really aren't coming easy. "We have YouTube envy", Hastings joked.

Unlike rival Amazon (AMZN, Tech30), there is at least one category Netflix plans to steer clear of: football. Movie and TV studios typically also demand more money as more people subscribe to channels to in an effort to make as much as possible off their content.

Netflix hasn't given any inkling it will raise prices again. Because of those expenses, Netflix said profit in the period will be 15 cents a share, short of analysts' estimate of 23 cents.

Netflix hopes to use online advertising technology "to do individualized marketing at scale and to deliver the right ad to the right person at the right time", the company said in a letter to investors.

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