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Netflix beat its own projections by adding another 5.5 million subscribers in Q3

“We are growing nicely across the world.”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at CES 2016
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
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 quick look at Netflix’s Q3 results: It added 5.3 million streaming subscribers around the world. The company had told Wall Street that it would add 4.4 million.

Netflix had told Wall Street it would add 750,000 subscribers in the U.S., and another 3.65 million internationally. Instead, it added 850,000 in the U.S. and another 4.45 million outside the U.S.

Netflix told investors that it would add 1.25 million domestic subs in Q4 and another 5.05 million outside the U.S.; Wall Street had expected 1.62 million and 4.65 million, respectively.

Investors have been trained to expect very big numbers from Netflix, and prior to this afternoon’s report, they had already pushed the stock up to $202.68 — an all-time high. Now it’s up another 2 percent in after-hours trading.

Meanwhile, in his quarterly shareholder letter, CEO Reed Hastings has addressed one of the obvious trends of the last few years: Hollywood studios and TV programmers, who used to be happy to sell Netflix their old stuff, are pulling their content back to their own platforms, like Hulu, or the Disney-branded service planned for 2019.

That stuff won’t go away overnight, Hastings writes. But “the long-term trends are clear. Our future largely lies in exclusive original content.”

And Netflix will spend a lot to make that content: While programming boss Ted Sarandos has recently told interviewers that the company would spend $7 billion on content next year, Hastings has bumped that number up again — now he says it could get to $8 billion.

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