Netflix revs up growth as streaming TV war looms

San Francisco: Netflix shares rallied after its latest quarterly update showed robust subscriber growth and better-than-expected profits ahead of a major escalation in the streaming television war.
Netflix reported a net income of $665 million in the recently ended quarter, jumping up from $403 million in the same period last year and topping most analyst forecasts.
Revenue and subscriber growth, however, came in just shy of market consensus. The California-based company saw revenue up 31 per cent at $5.25 billion and added 6.8 million subscribers worldwide to reach a total of 158.3 million.
Netflix shares climbed more than 10 per cent on Wednesday after-market trades.
The company, whose recent hits include “Stranger Things” and “The Crown,” was upbeat on its ability to thrive even as powerful competitors such as Disney and Apple enter the streaming market in November.
When Netflix began streaming television to subscribers online some 12 years ago — in a pivot from just lending video discs through the mail — it was essentially Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube and Netflix itself competing with traditional television, chief executive Reed Hastings said in an earnings broadcast.
And all of the streaming rivals will still find their main competition in broadcast TV, according to Hastings, who was confident Netflix would thrive through compelling original shows.
“We see both Apple and Disney launching essentially the same week after 12 years of not being in the market,” Hastings said.
“Fundamentally, it is more of the same. Disney will be a great competitor; Apple is just beginning but, you know, they will probably have some great shows too.” — AFP