Netflix added more subscribers than projected in the US and abroad during the first quarter, with the news sending its shares up nearly 12 per cent.
Net subscriber additions rose 22 per cent year-over-year to 4.88 million in the March quarter, beating the company’s forecast of 4.05 million.
The company has been aggressively building its overseas presence as growth slows in the US. It launched services in Australia and New Zealand in the quarter and expects to start in Japan and Italy later this year.
Netflix added 2.6 million customers in its nearly 50 international markets in the quarter ended March 31st, bringing the total to 62.27 million users worldwide.
Customers spent more time than ever watching Netflix, streaming 10 billion hours of programming in the quarter, the company said.
“We’ve continued to focus on the same things over the last couple years, improving the content, improving the streaming, improving the user interface, and we’ve seen the rewards of that in continued growth,” CEO Reed Hastings told analysts during a webcast.
The company said it expects to sign up 600,000 more US customers in the current quarter, plus 2.5 million worldwide.