Netflix has reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2013, and in that period it's added over 3 million customers worldwide. Domestically it added 2.03 million customers alone, pushing its total number over 30 million (including trial users) in the US. That means it's passed HBO in paying subscribers for the first time ever, while notching $2.69 million in net profits on $1.02 billion in revenue for the quarter. Internationally there were over a million new sign-ups and it's planning to launch in a new European market during the second half of this year, which we should hear more about on its Q2 earnings call in July.
One change all users will notice is to its package of streaming plans, as CEO Reed Hastings mentioned an $11.99 per month option is incoming that will allow subscribers to stream as many as four videos simultaneously, up from the current official limit of two. There's some question over whether Netflix will begin to crack down harder on account sharing, but Hastings claims he expects less than one percent of users to opt for the new plan. The company is also continuing to test the personalized profiles we got a peek at during CES, and expects to roll them out "in the coming months." Another major note is that as it expands its suite of original content, it's shifting focus away from some of existing "bulk, nonexclusive" licensing deals and will let a major one from Viacom expire in May. Specifically referenced is content from Nickelodeon, MTV and BET, although it's negotiating for access to particular shows. In the future, its preferred option will be exclusive deals with the studios that produce the shows, like the one it announced earlier this year with Warner. Check after the break for a few more details, including updates on the progress of some of its original series.
Another item previewed in the letter is a new streaming platform coming to various devices around the holidays that will focus on small size and quick startup speed, "aiming to match the time required for a linear channel change." One of the big questions as it's started to roll out original content is how customers will react and while it's still not giving any specific viewership stats, Netflix did provide some new details. According to Reed, fewer than 8,000 people created a free account just to watch House of Cards and then quit. The just-released Hemlock Grove is reportedly doing well with young adults, and notched more viewers in its first weekend than HoC did. Last time around it noted how few of its "Top 200" titles were even offered by competitors and this time around noted Amazon Prime is up to 74 from 73, and didn't mention Redbox at all. Check out the full letter for more stats and details, we'll be hopping on the earnings call at 6PM to see if there's any more new information to report.
Update: There wasn't much revealed of note on the earnings call, however Reed Hastings seemed to brush off issues from user's password sharing to "casual acquaintances," apparently believing Netflix doesn't see much of that behavior. However he feels about it, he didn't mention any new plans to combat such practices.