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Netflix Beats Its Own Numbers, Adds 3.3 Million Subscribers, and Wall Street Cheers

Sixty-three million paid subscribers worldwide.

Asa Mathat
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

A first look at Netflix Q2 earnings: The streaming video company generated revenue of $1.64 billion and earnings — after a 7-for-1 stock split — of six cents per share. Wall Street was looking for revenue of $1.65 billion and four cents per share.

More important are the company’s subscriber numbers: It added another 3.3 million subscribers — well above the 2.5 million it had projected last quarter. Netflix now has 63 million paid subscribers worldwide, and Wall Street is happy: Shares are up 10 percent in after-hours trading.

Netflix’s subscriber wins came both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world, where the company is really banking on new growth. It added 900,000 subscribers in the U.S. (it had projected 600,000) and 2.37 million internationally (it had projected 1.9 million).

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says the company was surprised by its success. Not surprising: Hastings says that success came in part because people liked its new original shows, which Netflix says every quarter. Netflix has yet to acknowledge that any of its original programming has underperformed, and Hastings’ letter to shareholders is full of superlatives for shows like “Marvel’s Daredevil” this time around as well.

Fun nugget: Netflix says that three days after the new season of “Orange Is the New Black” debuted, the company streamed a record number of hours of video worldwide, even though it was competing with the season finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and the NBA finals.

There’s not much else to chew on in Hastings’ letter, other than a pledge to be “available throughout the world” — which presumably means India and China — by the end of 2016. But Hastings and company are about to get on their earnings call, so if there’s stuff of note, I’ll update here or in a later post.

As always, here’s RBC analyst Mark Mahaney’s cheat sheet, so you can do your own armchair analysis (fun, right?):

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