Despite a recent price hike, Netflix said today it was able to add more subscribers than expected in the second quarter thanks to customers binge-watching the popular series “Orange is the New Black.”
The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said it signed up 570,000 new streaming customers domestically in Q2 to beat analyst expectations of 520,000 new members, and for the first time, it has more than 50 million subscribers across 40 countries.
“Our two screen HD plan continues to be the most popular plan choice for new members,” Netflix said today in a letter to shareholders. “We expect ARPU (average revenue per user) to rise slowly as members at the new prices grow as a percentage of total membership. There was minimal impact on membership growth from this price change.”
In May, Netflix started charging $8.99 a month for the privilege of watching Netflix in HD across two screens, which is one buck more than it was previously. The company also started offering a more budget-conscious plan that allowed users to watch a single standard-definition stream for $7.99 a month. Current subscribers are grandfathered into their plans, at least for now.
Strong membership gains were a huge help for the bottom line, which more than doubled in the second quarter. The company earned $1.15 per share on revenues of $1.34 billion, which was in-line with analyst expectations. In the same period a year earlier, the company earned 49 cents a share on revenue of $1 billion.
The company mentioned several original content series in its letter to shareholders, but said in particular that its U.S. member base grew to more than 36 million due to the dark comedy series “Orange is the New Black,” which is on its second season.
“The release of ‘Orange is the New Black Season 2’ has been every bit the global media event we had hoped for,” it wrote. “In its first month, Orange became the most watched series in every Netflix territory, with many members either watching for the first time or re-watching Season 1, in addition to the 13 new episodes of Season 2.”
For the current quarter, Netflix anticipates adding 1.3 million new subscribers, which is comparable for the year-ago period when the first season of “Orange is the New Black” debuted.
For more information, the company is currently streaming its investor call live: