Netflix passes 50 million member milestone in 2nd quarter

Netflix announced it has more than 50 million members in 40 countries worldwide as it released its second-quarter earnings today.

Shares jump as streaming service announces $71 million in profit

Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba in Orange is the New Black. The second season became the most-watched series in all territories one month after its release. (Netflix/Canadian Press)

Netflix announced it has more than 50 million members in 40 countries worldwide as it released its second-quarter earnings today.

And it's going after more, announcing it will launch in September in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Netflix reported a profit of $71 million US, or $1.15 a share in its second quarter. That's up from $29.5 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased to $1.34 billion from $1.07 billion.

Investors were particularly interested in subscriber numbers this quarter, because of Netflix’s announcement that it would raise prices for new subscribers.

The fact that existing subscribers can lock in their lower prices was expected to reduce user cancellations as existing subscribers won’t pay the higher rates for at least two more years.

Passing the 50-million benchmark is considered a mark of the runaway success of the streaming service and it added more members this quarter than expected — 1.69 million streaming subscribers compared to the forecast of 1.46 million.

Netflix shares are up 65 per cent in the past year and jumped 1.7 per cent in post-market trading to $452 after the results were released.

The U.S. member base was more than 36 million and revenue was growing faster than spending on new content.

Orange is the New Black 2nd season a hit

The second season of Orange is the New Black, one of its original series, became the most-watched series in every market where Netflix operates.

The video streaming service said it had experienced growth in all its international markets, but expected to continue to lose money as it invests in new areas.

The picture was different in the U.S. where it generated $227 million US in profit on $838 million in revenue. Netflix total revenue for the second quarter was $1.34 billion, up from $837 million a year ago. 

In another innovation, Netflix will begin to offer physical gift cards in Canada and the U.S., which will enable people to give the streaming service as a gift.

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