Global SVOD leader Netflix announced strong Q3 2018 earnings, with the addition of 7.0 million members beating its estimate of 5.0 million. The boost in subscriber numbers puts the Netflix growth story back on track, after the streaming video giant missed its growth targets last quarter, sending its share price down by 11%.
The third quarter earnings report puts Netflix's total subscriber-base at 137 million, including free trial users. Of these 137.1 total streaming customers worldwide, 130.4 were paid subscribers comprising, 58.5 million US users and 78.6 million paid members in international markets.
As Netflix continues to expand around the world and turns its focus to growth in non-US markets, a significant factor in international growth is down to striking strategic partnerships with pay-TV providers such as OSN in the Middle East, internet service providers and mobile operators, the latest being du in the region.
Netflix has set a target increase of 9.4m customers in the fourth quarter, against the target of 8.3m in Q4 2017. Of these new additions, it expects 7.6m of them to be paid users. Starting with the next Q1 2019 earnings report, Netflix says it will only forecast paid memberships, as paid growth forecasting has historically proved more accurate.
“We compete for entertainment time with linear TV, YouTube, video gaming, web browsing, social media, DVD and pay-per-view, and more,” stated Netflix in its quarterly letter to shareholders. “In that competition for screen hours, we lose most of the time, but we win enough to keep growing.”