For many people, staying at home entails streaming more shows and movies. On Tuesday, Netflix announced that it added twice as many global subscribers in the first quarter.
Netflix reported 15.7 million global net paid subscriber additions. This doubles its forecast of seven million subscriber additions before the recognition of the pandemic’s impact. Fox Business reported that the company had nearly 183 million global subscribers as of the end of March.
Fox Business added that Netflix’s earnings and revenue were in line with Wall Street’s expectations. “The company posted earnings per share of $1.57, falling short of an expected $1.65 per share, on revenue of $5.77 billion,” said the report.
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“At Netflix, we’re acutely aware that we are fortunate to have a service that is even more meaningful to people confined at home, and which we can operate remotely with minimal disruption in the short to medium term,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a letter to shareholders. “Like other home entertainment services, we’re seeing temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth.”
The company’s international revenue suffered due to a strong U.S. dollar relative to currencies outside the U.S. The pandemic also forced the company to freeze the production on upcoming series.
The Guardian reported that Netflix acknowledged that the surge in membership and audience was probably temporary.
“In our 20+ year history, we have never seen a future more uncertain or unsettling. The coronavirus has reached every corner of the world and, in the absence of a widespread treatment or vaccine, no one knows how or when this terrible crisis will end,” the company said in a statement.
“While we’re certainly impacted by the global production pause, we expect to continue to be able to provide a terrific variety of new titles throughout 2020 and 2021,” the statement said.