Netflix can be considered one of the pioneers in streaming video, having made the jump to a subscription online movie and TV show business back when DVD rentals where still fashionable. Fast forward to today and Netflix is on the verge of servicing more than 100 million streaming subscribers—it should hit (and exceed) the 100 million mark by the end of the second quarter.
In the first quarter of 2017, Netflix added 5 million members to the fold, bringing its tally to 98.75 million. That is up from 81.5 million in the same quarter a year prior. If Netflix's projections prove accurate, it will increase its total streaming membership to 101.95 million users.
"In Q1, we surpassed $2.5 billion in quarterly streaming revenue and added 5 million members. The opportunity provided to us by the growth of the global internet is gigantic and our plan is to keep investing as we increase membership, revenue and operating margins," Netflix stated in a letter to shareholders.
Streaming is Netflix's bread and butter and has been for quite some time now. That $2.5 billion figure Netflix pulled in during Q1 represents the lion's share of its overall revenue, which climbed above $2.6 billion when factoring in its DVD business. The year-on-year growth in streaming revenue was slightly down from last quarter, but still impressive at 38.8 percent. Netflix credits the ongoing growth to a price change in mid 2016.
The streaming service is also benefiting from original content. It recently added a comeback comedy special in Dave Chappelle: Collection 1, which was its most viewed comedy special ever, and original series such as Stranger Things and Luke Cage have proven popular.
As for the competition, Netflix isn't phased by the advent of virtual MVPDs such as Sling, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, and Hulu's forthcoming service. The company told shareholders that such services are likely to be more directly competitive to existing MVPD services rather than Netflix. And as for Amazon inking a $50 million deal with the NFL to stream Thursday night games, Netflix said it wouldn't have been smart for it to try and outbid Amazon as the money would be better spent on movies and TV shows.