Netflix is officially the largest subscription video service in North America, with the improved numbers revealed in its Q1 2011 financial report seeing it topple Comcast for the first time. And there’s more good news, too.
Netflix Beats Comcast
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings this week revealed the company’s latest financial results. At the end of Q1 2011 (up to and including March 31) pretty much every statistic of note was up on a year previously.
The biggest news, for what it means in the grand scheme of things, is the 3.6 million subscribers Netflix added during the quarter. Netflix now has more than 23.6 million subscribers, up 69 percent on the 14 million Netflix reported a year ago. This puts it above Comcast, which ended 2010 with 22.8 million subscribers to its pay TV service. Netflix now owns the sector, and is on its way up while Comcast is heading in the other direction.
Revenue for the quarter was $719 million, up 46 percent on the $494 million reported a year ago. Net income was $60 million, with earnings per share at $1.11, up 88 percent on a year ago, and a few cents above the $1.08 estimate.
International and Original
The vast majority of the new subscribers were in the U.S., but Netflix did add 290,000 international customers to make 800,000 total. The company hopes this portion of its business will ramp up considerably from now on.
“Ideally, we’ll license two or three similar, but smaller, deals so we can gain confidence that whatever results we achieve are repeatable.”
It seems clear that House of Cards is just going to be the first of many forays into the world of original programming for Netflix, although the level of investment will likely be affected by how successful these shows prove to be.
Netflix continues to go from strength-to-strength, and its growth doesn’t seem due to come to an end anytime soon. To hurdle Comcast is impressive, and proves this is one company that is no flash in the pan that’s going to disappear as quickly as it arrived.
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