Business

Netflix reaches 30M streaming subscribers

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has a habit of announcing good news about his company via Facebook rather than a stuffy jargon-filled press release. I can only assume this is because press releases don’t get many cheerful comments and lack the motivational boost associated with seeing 600 “likes” from people you don’t know.

That’s exactly what Hastings did earlier today with the announcement that Netflix has now reached 30 million streaming subscribers worldwide. He posted the following thank you note via his personal account:

“Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thirty million of you are now Netflix streaming members.

I’d like to express my gratitude to each of you. Your choice to be a Netflix member helps us get more content every year and helps us further improve our member experience. You make it possible for us to offer the most amazing internet television experience ever. Thank you, again.”

Hitting 30 million subscribers means Netflix added about a million new streaming customers in a little less than a month. Clearly, the company wants to reassure shareholders that its strategy isn’t lagging behind.

The announcement comes just days after Netflix reported subscriber growth of 29 million for Q3 2012 (adding 1.16 million new subscriptions for the quarter). Analysts interpreted the report as an indication the subscriber growth was lagging, which caused the company’s stock to dip.

Maintaining strong subscriber growth is crucial for Netflix right now because of the large number of smart but risky investments it’s making to grow the company. Netflix is currently using the profits from its domestic streaming business (25 million subscriptions) to fund expansion into additional international markets, which means it won’t turn a profit for several quarters. The company also has a lot of money tied up in the production of original programming, which isn’t due out until Q1 2013.


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