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Netflix breaks record for new subs

Netflix added 4.9 million new members in the first quarter of this year, a number it claims is a record to this point.

The streaming giant had forecast 4.1 million subs, which was slightly higher than the four million added in Q1 2014. However, it has surpassed this number by nearly a million after a string of international launches.

Internationally, the company gained 2.6 million members, though this didn’t stop Netflix losing an overall US$15 million, which was attributed to the strong dollar.

Overall company income for the quarter to March 31, 2015, was US$1.57 billion, compared with US$1.27 billion a year before. Operating income was virtually the same as 2014’s number at US$97.45 million, but net income dropped significantly from US$53.12 million to US$23.7 million.

Netflix said spend on original shows such as Bloodline where driving international numbers, with marketing investment cut to no major effect.

Some marketing spend will shift to the international segment in Q2 2015 to take advantage of “available growth opportunities,” the company said. In the short term, this would drives down international revenues and make the US domestic market seem more attractive.

Meanwhile, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells welcomed rival SVOD service HBO Now. “We think both will continue to be successful in the marketplace, as illustrated by the fact that HBO has continued to grow globally and domestically as we have rapidly grown over the past five years,” they wrote in a letter to shareholders.