Netflix crosses 50 million subscribers worldwide and takes aim at Comcast / TWC

It looks like that (pending 2 years for existing customers) price hike hasn't greatly affected Netflix's popularity, as it announced today that it has 50 million customers altogether. About 36 million of them are in the US, and Netflix specified that's about to launch in more European countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg) in September. Its profit also more than doubled this quarter, up to $71 million from about $30 million in the same period last year. The only real change mentioned for customers is that it's about to start distributing in-store gift cards this fall, so you can give the gift of Netflix or join without having to pay online with a credit card. The company's focus of course is how it's building up a library of exclusive content, and it says Orange is the New Black quickly became the most watched series in every Netflix territory when season two launched. Upcoming shows include Sense8 from the Wachowskis and the Daredevil series it's making with Marvel, and it's cast a number of big names for those shows already like Vincent D'Onofrio, Naveen Andrews and Rosario Dawson -- now that Netflix scored 31 Emmy nominations this year they clearly have a tough act to follow. The company's earnings chat will start in a few minutes, check after the break to watch it live and see a few more notes about its current status.

Of course, in a letter to investors Netflix also spoke up on net neutrality and its battle with ISPs over paid peering access, laying out its policy goals. Number one is for the FCC to "not sanctify paid prioritization" aka fast lanes, two is to either block the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable or extract a requirement blocking the combo from charging for interconnect. It's going to have more 4K content streaming soon too, saying Marco Polo, Sense8 and Narcos either are or will be shooting in high-res. What's next for Netflix right away? The Killing season four launches August 1st, Bojack Horseman on August 22nd, and on the 15th it will premiere the Mission Blue documentary about oceanographer Sylvia Earle's efforts to keep the oceans clean. Still not satisfied? Check out a peek from the making of Sense8 in San Francisco, which started shooting there last month and is currently filming in Chicago.