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Netflix Has More U.S. Subscribers Than HBO

By - Source: via Variety | B 10 comments

Longtime rivals Netflix and HBO are neck-and-neck when it comes to U.S. subscribers.

Netflix yesterday revealed its quarterly earnings for Q1 2013, and things are looking good for the streaming and video-on-demand company. The company revealed that it added 2.03 million members compared to 2.05 million in the prior quarter and 1.74 million in Q1 2012. The company also talked up the success of its original show House of Cards, claiming that its decision to launch all 13 episodes at once "created enormous media and social buzz" thereby reinforcing the company's brand.

However, perhaps the most interesting piece of information thing about Netflix's growth did not come from Netflix itself. Variety reports that Netflix now boasts more U.S. users than HBO. The site reports that while Netflix had 27.15 subscribers in 2012, HBO ended 2012 with 28.7 million subscribers. The 2.03 million from Q1 2013 puts Netflix ahead of HBO. While it may not be for long (after all, we've yet to hear HBO's Q1 results), it's the first time Netflix's subscribers at home have surpassed HBO's.

Of course, as Variety points out, HBO still has Netflix beaten when it comes to global subscribers. Founded in 1997, Netflix didn't launch in Canada until 2010. After that, it saw multiple international launches in quick succession, expanding to Latin America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, the UK and Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. Despite this rapid expansion over the last two years, Netflix's global subscriber base has yet to match its American numbers. According to CEO Reed Hastings, the company currently has 7.1 million international subscribers accounting for 14 percent of global revenue. HBO, on the other hand, has 114 million international subscriptions.

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  • 3 Hide
    leo2kp , April 23, 2013 1:40 PM
    That's because it's cheaper.
  • -2 Hide
    internetlad , April 23, 2013 1:45 PM
    this is like saying there are more beans in a can of heinz baked beans than in a bag of jelly belly jelly beans. Yeah technically the statement may hold true, but they're two entirely different business models considering one is a digital distribution method and the other is a broadcaster
  • 7 Hide
    slomo4sho , April 23, 2013 3:14 PM
    More content, lower price. It is amazing how many people still pay for cable...
  • 1 Hide
    tim1935 , April 23, 2013 3:30 PM
    Get more new releases on the streaming service please, it lags way behind the DVD releases.
  • 3 Hide
    targetdrone , April 23, 2013 3:35 PM
    I wonder if Netflix would have as many subscribers if you needed to shell out $100/month for a cable package + the Netflix fee.
  • 4 Hide
    happyballz , April 23, 2013 4:02 PM
    Tom's I can't post a single comment with more than a couple of sentences because your crap comment applet keeps failing and "encountering errors". Horrible. Fix it already!
  • 2 Hide
    Gundam288 , April 23, 2013 4:12 PM
    HBO and STARZ have pretty much fallen out since high speed stream has become a option. Back in the day they were one of the few "movies only" channels and they are limited to cable TV only while Netflix can stream to just about any internet connected device. It's just ease of access and cost.
  • 1 Hide
    punahou1 , April 23, 2013 4:33 PM
    One disappointment is that after getting hooked on a current TV series there is a long delay before the most recent runs are streamed. I recall for Mad Men that I had to wait almost a year before season 5 was streamed. Another disappointment is that they have pulled a series from streaming before I had a chance to finish viewing it (Stargate SG1 episodes)...
  • 0 Hide
    catfishtx , April 24, 2013 6:43 AM
    Hey HBO, in addition to your cable broadcasts, create an HBO-only streaming app so people can watch your content and you can actually get paid for it. A lot of us do not have cable/satellite but we still want to watch your programming. Remember, people are "pirating" Game of Thrones in record numbers.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 21, 2013 11:03 PM
    For international it depends what they classify as a subscriber, as HBO is renamed as Sky Atlantic in the UK and is just another free channel you get with the HD Sky package - Netflix however you deliberately have to get it
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