Netflix unveiled solid Q2 earnings a couple weeks ago, also announcing that it had surpassed 50 million global subscribers.
Well, another thing happened last quarter. Netflix surpassed HBO in subscriber revenue for the very first time ($1.146 billion to $1.141 billion) – and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is rather excited about it.
Yeah, the profit thing is still in ass-kicking territory. Netflix pulled in $71 million in profit last quarter while HBO grabbed a whopping $548 million. And as far as the Emmys thing goes – Hastings is right once again. HBO has dominated those awards for some time now. But this year could be a big year for Netflix, who netted 31 nominations for its original series and documentaries.
The rivalry between Netflix and HBO is a fun one to watch. It's clear that Netflix sees HBO as its main competition (it's said so on multiple occasions). It's clear that both companies are, in one way or another, taking cues from the other. HBO launched its HBO GO streaming service a few years about Netflix's Watch Instantly streaming service. Seeing HBO's continued success in making original content, Netflix decided to do that too – and have been wildly successful so far.
Of course, subscribing to HBO and subscribing to Netflix are two different animals. One requires a cable subscription – a huge anchor to tie to any offer – and the other simply requires an internet connection and $8 a month.
Still, this feels like a a significant milestone for Netflix.
I guess Hastings and Netflix are one step closer to making HBO their bitch.