Netflix subscriber growth misses its mark in Q1

Second, with its growth in the saturating United States market steadily slowing down while its worldwide growth continues apace after expanding its reach to 190 countries last year, Netflix is on course to have more customers outside its American home base than inside for the first time by the end of this year.

Netflix is on the verge of surpassing 100 million global subscribers, a testament to how much the video streaming service has changed the entertainment landscape since its debut a decade ago.

Netflix was likely prepared for some investors to be disappointed by today's membership figures, and it was careful to note that it does not believe membership growth is the key figure to note in today's report.

"We've said previously subsequent seasons of show that are very popular tend to have more impact on the business than introducing brand new IP [intellectual property]", explained Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos during the webcast. Operating margin is expected to slip from 9.7% in the first quarter to 4.4% in the second quarter, but the company reiterated its 7% target operating margin for the year. "At that point, Netflix might disrupt itself again, as it's done throughout its history with innovations such as DVDs by mail, subscription monetization, digital streaming and original content". "It's a good start", the company wrote (PDF) to shareholders at the earnings call for the first quarter of 2017.

Netflix needs to add millions of subscribers every quarter to help pay for the billions of dollars the company spends making TV shows and movies or licensing programs from others. But, it insisted that the opportunity for growth was "gigantic". Revenue in the first quarter reached $2.64 billion, which was in line with estimates of $2.64 billion.

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Revenue rose 35 per cent to $2.64 billion in the quarter.

Netflix's stock tends to be one that swings widely on earnings, but this time, investors seemed ambivalent to the mixed results. Our forward guidance shows that we intend to continue to invest internationally, projecting a small loss for Q2. He also holds a very interesting view of the streaming media and video on demand marketplace.

Netflix says the opportunity ahead remains "gigantic" despite a slowdown in subscriber numbers, including global markets. Many of these competitors are doing better than before at the cost of services such as Netflix.

Its shares dropped as much as 3 per cent in after-hours trading before rebounding to gain 1.3 per cent.

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