Netflix released its quarterly earnings report today along with its regular letter to shareholders.
In the “original content” section of the letter, CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells revealed that Orange is the New Black has been its most successful show to date. They wrote:
Orange is the New Black has been a tremendous success for us. It will end the year as our most watched original series ever and, as with each of our other previously launched originals, enjoys an audience comparable with successful shows on cable and broadcast TV. We have seen sustained social media buzz in the months after its debut and it is also one of the most critically well received TV shows of 2013. Orange is the New Black was not eligible for the Emmys in 2013, but Season 1 will be eligible next year and we believe the audience for Season 2 will grow substantially.
Netflix added 1.3 million domestic subscribers during the quarter, which is 11% higher than last year’s third quarter. The two executives named Orange is the New Black specifically (along with the Emmy nominations from its other shows) as a main contributor to this.
“It definitely helped,” Hastings noted in a post report interview about OITNB, but also admitted that there’s no way of telling its exact impact.
“In 2014, we expect to double our investment in original content (though still representing less than 10% of our overall global content expense),” the two said. “Coming to Netflix next year will be second seasons of House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Derek and Hemlock Grove as well as the just announced project from Todd and Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated creators of Damages. We’ll also roll out a number of new animated series from DreamWorks Animation. Expect more news on additional new original projects in the months to come.”
While not mentioned in today’s letter, Netflix recently hinted that we may soon start seeing DVD-like extras appear on its streaming service for its original shows, such as Orange is the New Black. This might even lead to such features for third-party content.