Netflix on the verge of hitting 100 million subscribers

A United Airlines plane with the Continental Airlines logo on its tail sits at a gate at O'Hare International airport in Chicago

It had pushed back the next season of its hit House Of Cards and other programming to the second quarter, which could explain why it lured fewer new subscribers in the first quarter than expected.

Netflix said it expects to add 3.2 million new customers in Q2 and to have a total of 8.15 million net adds in the first half of the year - down from 8.42 million in H1 2016.

People were able to watch videos everywhere on their smartphones and tablets, said Michael Pachter Wedbush Securities analyst. Hastings also made it clear that unlike Amazon Prime Video, Netflix has no intentions of getting into live streaming of sporting events.

Netflix, said it expects to add 600,000 subscribers in the United States in the current quarter, above the FactSet estimate of 364,000. The company now has over 98.75 million subscribers and it expects to pass the 100 million milestone by this weekend. U.S.net additions slowed to 1.4 million from 1.9 million in the previous quarter.

The Los Gatos, California firm presently has a market value of around $63 billion. In the first quarter Netflix was reported to have 98.75 million subscribers but this weekend will finally bring glad tidings for the site. Other cable channels also are contributing internet-only benefits as more viewers, particularly younger people, avoid traditional TV bundles and subscribe to streaming services preferably.

"The model works from a consumer perspective because it is such a good value", Pachter said.

Pachter and other analysts wonder how long Netflix will be able to hold the line on price as its programming costs rise in tandem with its appeal to a more diverse worldwide audience.

Netflix planned to spend a billion dollars this year on marketing aimed at attracting members.

Netflix shares dipped and then rose in after-market trades that followed release of the quarterly earnings figures, eventually gaining more than a percent to reach $149.25. Netflix had previously frozen prices for millions of subscribers at 2014 levels. Despite a five point drop in its stock price this morning, Netflix is now up a little over three per cent.

Netflix reiterated that it has no plans to enter the live TV market, and does not expect to be negatively impacted by growing live OTT video options.

According to the company, earning per share for the first quarter was $0.40 per share, which surpassed the previous estimates of $0.37 per share.

Growth and competition were a key topic of discussion during the company's earnings interview.

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