If anyone ever thought that Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) had no room to grow in the US, they are in for a surprise. Earlier this week, Netflix reported its first-quarter results and it delivered stunning subscriber growth, even for the domestic market.
Netflix’s Q1 revenues grew 40% over the year to $3.7 billion, marginally ahead of the Street’s forecast of $3.69 billion for the quarter. EPS of $0.64 was better than the market’s projections of $0.63 for the quarter.
During the quarter, Netflix saw an impressive 25% growth in average paid streaming memberships year over year, and a 14% increase in its average selling price as it has completed its price adjustment for all grandfathered plans.
For the current quarter, Netflix expects to add 6.2 million subscribers with 1.45 million in the US and 4.9 million in other countries. It expects revenues of $3.93 billion, ahead of the market’s forecast of $3.89 billion for the quarter. EPS is expected to be $0.63. Analysts were forecasting revenues of $3.52 billion with an EPS of $0.57.
Netflix’s Subscriber Growth
The biggest news in the quarter was Netflix’s subscriber growth. It grew its subscriber base by 50%, adding 7.41 million new members. Earlier in the year, Netflix had forecast an addition of 6.35 million subscribers for the quarter. It added 1.96 million streaming subscribers in the US and 5.46 million in international markets. It had expected to add 1.45 million in the US and 4.9 million in international markets at the beginning of the quarter. Netflix ended the quarter by breaking the milestone of 125 million total members. The market is very pleased with the subscriber addition, with some analysts calling the growth “eye popping”.
The single driver behind Netflix’s subscriber growth has been its content. In the recent quarter, it was exclusive content of Altered Carbon, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Queer Eye, Santa Clarita Diet, and its Spanish-language heist drama La Casa de Papel that helped attract subscribers. The company is still planning on spending anywhere from $7.5-$8 billion on content this year. During the year, Netflix expects to add nearly 700 original series and 80 original movies as part of this content line-up.