On Monday, Netflix released their Q1 2013 earnings report and in it they boasted gains of 2.03 million domestic subscribers. This is important for two reasons. First, it boosts their total domestic subscriber base to 29.17 million, continuing a steady subscriber rise that they reported in Q4 2012. And second, it puts them past HBO in terms of total U.S. subscribers.
At least according to data from SNL Kagan. Variety reports that HBO ended 2012 with 28.7 million subscribers, which means that as of the last known report, Netflix is now beating HBO in the U.S.
That’s a pretty significant development in the streaming wars.
It’s important to note that this is only a U.S. victory for Netflix. Although the company reported 1.02 million new subscribers internationally, it only boosts their total to 7.14 million. HBO boasts over 114 million subscribers worldwide.
HBO and Netflix have a lot in common. They are both platforms which host TV shows and films. And with Netflix’s recent push, both companies now produce their own content (and it’s pretty well done). Both companies offer online streaming apps filled with said content.
But of course, the difference is that HBO is still in bed with cable, while Netflix is the top choice of cordcutters everywhere. It will be interesting to see whether HBO keeps up with Netflix in subscriber growth over the next year, or whether the tide continues to turn in favor of the true, standalone, streaming experience.
This nugget isn’t the only interesting thing to come out of CEO Reed Hastings’ letter to shareholders. We also learned that Netflix is planning on unveiling a $11.99 family plan that offers up to four simultaneous streams. We also learned that Netflix’s original series House of Cards was able to rope in subscribers and keep them subscribed after it was over.