Netflix Beats Subscriber Forecasts as Spending Nears $8 Billion
From Germany to Brazil, Netflix stormed ahead in its drive to create a global TV network, scoring the video-streaming provider’s best third quarter on record and sending the shares to a new high.
Shows such as thriller “Ozark,” starring Jason Bateman, “American Vandal,” a spoof of true crime shows, and a Jerry Seinfeld stand-up special helped lure 4.45 million new customers abroad and 850,000 in the U.S., both ahead of estimates. They came at a cost. The company is paying $6 billion for programming in 2017 and said Monday it’ll increase that by as much as a third next year.
The tricky part for Netflix is balancing its push for subscriber growth with the need to cover its soaring programming budget. This month, Netflix raised prices by $1 a month, or 10 percent, for its most popular plan in the U.S. and U.K., funds that will help defray its soaring programming costs. In the past, price increases have led to more customer turnover. Growth slowed for just that reason in 2016.
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