Netflix has reported a gain of 6.77 million paying subscribers in the third quarter, slightly above analysts’ expectations. It brings its total userbase to 153 million globally.
The number of new US-based subscribers was just 520,000, well below expectations of around 800,000. But it was still an improvement on the last quarter when Netflix reported a loss of US streaming customers for the first time in eight years.
Internationally Netflix was boosted by new seasons of popular shows such as Stranger Things (its most viewed show ever) and 13 Reason Why during the quarter from July to September.
Total revenue for the quarter was $5.24 billion.
The next few months look set be its most Netflix’s challenging yet as Disney+, HBO Max and Apple+ all prepare to enter the SVoD arena, with strong brand recogntion and huge investments.
Earlier this week, Netflix wrote to investors to tell them that competition would be a good thing. The rising tide of streaming services would just tempt more people away from “linear TV”, as they term it, and into streaming services.
“Just like the evolution from broadcast TV to cable, these once-in-a-generation changes are very large and open up big, new opportunities for many players,” the company told investors. “For example, for the first few decades of cable, networks like TBS, USA, ESPN, MTV and Discovery didn’t take much audience share from each other, but instead, they collectively took audience share from broadcast viewing.”