Netflix added more than three million subs to its DVD delivery and film streaming service and promised more exclusive content deals as it reported a doubling of first-quarter profits.
The additions mean the company has drawn level with Comcast, the largest cable television operator, with 23.6 million subscribers to its video service. And it is expanding internationally, Reed Hastings, chief executive said Netflix planned to expand into two new markets, following its recent launch in Canada. It expects to incur $50 million-$70 million of operating losses in the second half of the year related to a major international market and will explore launching in a third territory in early 2012 given the “high probability of success” in the second market, it said.
Following the $100 million ‘House of Cards’ exclusive deal Hastings said: “Ideally, we’ll license two or three similar, but smaller, deals so we can gain confidence that whatever results we achieve are repeatable.”
The company denied that it was responsible for cord-cutting: “The data show that Netflix is a supplemental channel. While Netflix is likely to show huge growth again this year, we think … cord-cutting will be minimal to non-existent.”
Revenues for the three months to March 31st rose from $493.7 million a year ago to $718.6 million. Net income was at the top end of expectations, increasing from $32.3 million to $60.2 million.