Netflix had a lot to report at yesterday’s earnings report. It now has more than 62 million subscribers and will soon release its first original movies. They are not afraid of HBO Now, Sony’s Vue or the rumored Apple TV service. A new TV user interface is coming in the second half of 2015.
62 million subscribers
Netflix has more than 41 million subscribers in the US and close to 21 million subscribers in international markets, including Europe. In the first quarter of 2015 they expanded to Australia and New Zealand and added a record 4.9 million new members. Later this year, Netflix will expand to additional markets, including Japan.
The company welcomes HBO to the market, stating that it does not see Netflix and HBO Now as substitutes. Netflix thinks that HBO can have plenty of success in the marketplace without affecting Netflix much.
Netflix is not worried about Sony’s PlayStation Vue, Sling TV or the rumored TV service from Apple either. They claim that these will have to compete with current cable TV operators instead of Netflix’s on-demand catalogue. Instead, the company sees itself leading the “internet TV” revolution.
So who is Netflix afraid of? Piracy - or more specifically Popcorn Time. The company identifies piracy as a “considerable long-term threat, mostly outside the US”.
A new TV user interface
The company says that an updated app and a new user interface will roll out to TVs in the second half of 2015. FlatpanelsHD got a sneak-preview a few months ago. The biggest change is video starts playing automatically in the background when you click on a TV show to learn more about it.
Netflix also mentioned that it will soon switch to a secure HTTPS connection to help “protect member privacy, particularly when the network is insecure, such as public WiFi, and it helps protect members from eavesdropping by their ISP or employer”.
Finally, Netflix gave us an update on its plans for original content. There are still no hard data on the table, but the company says that the third season of House of Cards “had its biggest launch yet in terms of viewers” and that Daredevil has excited fans and critics. In the coming months, Netflix will launch Sense8 by the Wachowskis (The Matrix), the third season of Orange is the New Black, and Grace and Frankie. Later this year, Netflix will release its first full-length movies simultaneously on the streaming service and in cinemas.
Netflix expects to have 65 million subscribers by the end of June.