Netflix, the streaming giant responsible for millions of unhealthy binge-watching addictions, has made some fairly daring decisions lately. In early June, it began testing advertisements for its own shows to play before and after videos, despite insisting just two months earlier that it wouldn’t air commercials on its site. Later that month, the company announced an audacious seven-to-one stock split. Whatever Netflix is up to, it’s apparently doing something very right: The company announced its second-quarter earnings Wednesday, and they exceeded expectations—by a lot.
In the quarter ending June 30, the company added nearly 30 percent more subscribers to its user base than expected, drawing in 3.3 million new subscribers, a number well above the 2.5 million that it had predicted. This puts Netflix’s total user base at 65 million. Its shares in the second quarter of 2015 also went up 9.4 percent—an uptick that Netflix partially attributed to its exponential addition of original television shows and films this year. Though the company’s net income has dipped this year due to the costs of overseas expansion, its revenue for the second quarter, compared with the same quarter in 2014, is higher by $300 million.
Netflix no longer monopolizes the video-streaming industry the way that it used to. It’s facing heightened competition from Amazon, which has upped its game by producing its own original content. Other industry players such as Comcast have also announced new video-streaming services. Nevertheless, for the current quarter Netflix is predicting the addition of another 3.6 million subscribers globally. It’s also planning on broadening service to 200 countries by the end of next year.