Netflix now boasts more than 148 million subscribers worldwide, adding 9.6 million subscribers in the last three months, more than the 8.9 million it expected and up 16% year over year.
The company reported revenue of $4.5 billion and earnings per share of 76 cents – in line with expectations.
However, the streaming giant said it forecasts subscriber growth to slow in the second quarter of the year as it lifts subscription prices across multiple regions.
In a letter to shareholders, the company said it projects total paid net adds of 5.0 million in the second quarter, which would be a 8% decline year over year.
“We’re working our way through a series of price increases in the US, Brazil, Mexico and parts of Europe,” the company said.
“The response in the US so far is as we expected and is tracking similarly to what we saw in Canada following our Q4’18 increase, where our gross additions are unaffected, and we see some modest short-term churn effect as members consent to the price change.”
The company said it is “excited to compete” with its new rivals: Disney and Apple (the two companies are launching their own rival streaming services).
“Both companies are world class consumer brands and we’re excited to compete; the clear beneficiaries will be content creators and consumers who will reap the rewards of many companies vying to provide a great video experience for audiences.
“We don’t anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings.”
New feature to be tested in Q2
A new feature that will be tested in the second quarter is a “weekly top 10 lists” of popular content for U.K. viewers.
“Later in Q2 we’ll be running a test to improve our UK member experience by releasing weekly top 10 lists of the most popular content on our UK service across various programming categories,” Netflix said.
“For those who want to watch what others are watching, this may make choosing titles even easier. After a few months we’ll decide whether to end or expand the test.”