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Netflix Surpasses HBO In Subscribers For First Time
29.17 Million U.S. Subscribers to 28.7 Million
by Karl Bode 08:37AM Tuesday Apr 23 2013
Reed Hastings has long believed that HBO is Netflix's primary competitor, and even though HBO has stubbornly refused to offer a standalone streaming video product (one that doesn't require a cable connection), Hastings believes they ultimately will. "The goal," Hastings stated earlier this year, "is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us." Hastings got some good news on that front this week, their earnings indicating that Netflix now has more total subscribers than HBO for the first time, 29.17 million to HBO's 28.7 million. The picture looks quite different globally, where Netflix has a long way to catch up to HBO's 114 million subscribers.

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rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

NetFlix International Subscribers

Are NetFlix's international subscriber challenges more the result of content licensing challenges or insufficient HSI infrastructure/penetration (or something else entirely?)

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

Re: NetFlix International Subscribers

that would be a good guess, but Always On Microsoft will tell you just don't live in those places
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
They really only just started building the International presence a year or two ago. Think they just need time.
bklass
Premium
join:2012-02-06
Canada
kudos:2

Re: NetFlix International Subscribers

And capital. It's expensive to buy content rights. More exclusive programming should help allay those types of costs and make Netflix more attractive to international customers.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
It's definitely a challenge for content licensing. My inlaws in Canada subbed then they came here and were shocked at how much more content is available in the US versus Canada. They went home and cancelled, and I got an extra Roku

HBO has no such limitations since they are the content provider they can control distribution.

That is the downside of distribution that as an aggregation you are beholden to the content provider. Netflix is a competitor to the content provider, time warner, comcast, at&T, etc are a channel for HBO.

So this is a channel conflict, nothing more. The traditional channel will survive, however there will be a growing channel conflict in the non-traditional (streaming) venue.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: NetFlix International Subscribers

This is why current licensing schemes are flawed and strictly designed to screw customers.

Netflix is allowed show x in the US but has to license and pay again in every country. That is just plain illogical in a global market where data is moved in seconds not days.

Same thing with DVDs when you think about, Unless you have a region-0 DVD player you cannot play a DVD from outside North America.

Regional licensing is one reason why US shows are so pirated overseas, Many times the licensing either takes forever to work out or requires built in delays that it is easier to pirate the stuff than it is to sit out of internet discussion forums for several weeks.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: NetFlix International Subscribers

It's not illogical. The larger the market, the more the content creator deserves, no? If you go to a sporting event with half the seats empty, the event makes less money than when every seat is sold.

Regarding going International, what's ridiculous is if the content creator wants to negotiate a different rate for every country. If that's what you meant, I agree. If Netflix has an agreement that allows it to pay the content creator based on viewers, then it shouldn't matter whether it's a US viewer or an international viewer. As Netflix grows (whether domestically or internationally) the content creator gets more and more. However, if the monthly subscription cost in the US is a barrier for Netflix in another country due to a lower average income, then Netflix cannot afford to show that content there since they won't be able to charge the same customer rates as in the US.
kevinds
Premium
join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:3

Re: NetFlix International Subscribers

Netflix Canada vs Netflix US is the same monthly charge, but there is a lot less content in Canadian version...
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Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: NetFlix International Subscribers

My point wasn't necessarily what they are charging the customer. Rather, it was based on what NetFlix pays content creators/distributors in any given country. Didn't NetFlix's origins begin by partnering with Starz for the rights to stream the same content? At that time they were probably only concerned about the US market. As they grew and became a blip on the radar of incumbent competitors, additional content licensing is probably getting more difficult as their competitors twist the proverbial "screws of influence" with content creators.
kevinds
Premium
join:2003-05-01
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Shaw

Re: NetFlix International Subscribers

But you said this,
However, if the monthly subscription cost in the US is a barrier for Netflix in another country due to a lower average income, then Netflix cannot afford to show that content there since they won't be able to charge the same customer rates as in the US.

Talking about the subscription cost, and lower average income (of the users?), when they are charing the same now, so you are confusing me a bit now.

I thought Netflix started as a DVD rental company that spun-off streaming as a bonus feature, that quickly took over.
--
Yes, I am not employed and looking for IT work. Have passport, will travel.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: NetFlix International Subscribers

Sorry for the confusion. In my head, I was consistently thinking along the lines of it being natural for content creators to see the success of NetFlix's US operations as an opportunity. It's kind of like how lottery winners attract a lot of "flies".

I also wanted to acknowledged that even if opportunistic license fees don't occur, the same US rate may not work in economically disadvantaged countries. (If only 1% can afford the US monthly rate, regardless of merit, there's no significant growth for NetFlix. It's even worse if opportunistic license fees do occur. This results in even higher package prices or for the same price, a severely crippled package.)

intok

join:2012-03-15
It's 2013, if your TV/movie or music company can't manage to launch their products world wide on a single day your company is terrible at it's job.
bklass
Premium
join:2012-02-06
Canada
kudos:2
My guess would be the former, as HSI penetration is relatively high in Europe and Asia compared to the US and Canada. I think Netflix has started streaming in England and Ireland, and some other places in South America if I remember correctly it's extremely expensive to start these services so I think they're trying not to stretch themselves too thin at this point. Maybe the big stock boost today will give them some leeway to speed that up.

darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS

Re: NetFlix International Subscribers

said by bklass:

I think Netflix has started streaming in England and Ireland, and some other places in South America[...]

Also in Scandinavia (and the rest of the UK). »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netflix#International
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬

psilocybin

join:2007-07-19
Monroe, NY

Apples vs. Oranges

It's comparing two different things. If you were to take into account the hours per month that Netflix is streaming it would top all tv channels, but that's streamed content. (Which is still very interesting)

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

I find the fun part...

Is that at least we are now comparing two ad free services.

Comparing Netflix to TV isn't Apples to Apples. At least with HBO it's closer.

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

I am dropping NETFLIX!

How dare they charge more for DVDs and streaming!
And raising their rates $2 !!! Outrage!

LOL!!! Yeah, all those that left, THANK YOU!

Like I posted years ago, Netflix needed its own content and tada! House of Cards is rated VERY well. And now the Hemlock Grove appears to be getting decent reviews. Too bad I didn't join Carl Icahn in stock buy in...


Ok. Netflix still needs to have more streaming content... but they are always adding.
(PS, if you like mystery, WWII, I recommend Foyle's War)
--
Splat

shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
Reviews:
·EarthLink
·Comcast
·Atlantic Nexus

Re: I am dropping NETFLIX!

said by cableties:

(PS, if you like mystery, WWII, I recommend Foyle's War)

Yes, excellent series and interesting view of home life during the war. You'll probably also like George Gentley.

Netflix is a bit hit-and miss, they'll get the first year or two of a series then never get the rest.

I gave my folks a years subscription to NF for Christmas. They are hooked on it.

I'm thinking of Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus as a companion to NF. No cable or sat here, just not worth the cost and constant commercials. I never thought HBO or Showtime were worth the cost when I had cable or sat.
--
Scott Henion

Embedded Systems Consultant,
SHDesigns home - DIY Welder

Brian_M

join:2004-06-19
Manchester, GA
Reviews:
·Charter
·Windstream

Re: I am dropping NETFLIX!

We're zero-broadcast (no cable/sat and OTA not available), Netflix is the meat of what we watch with Amazon filling in the rest (not much honestly, they've made it very difficult to find/browse relevant content). This was after a 6-month free Hulu+ trial as well... Hulu+ just failed on all counts for us.

We also use individual broadcast web pages for streaming (HTPC, not sure if it can be done on Roku/similar streaming devices) as most have the latest 5 episodes of the vast majority of their content.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
How does offering an entire season of a show, that can be watched in a couple days help grow and keep subscribers? I dont understand this at all. If I want to watch this show, I can subscribe and finish the season over a weekend, then cancel, right?
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Content is content that is how it adds subs.

Also the Netflix system is the future, Scheduled TV is a relic that needs to go away. Outside of live events or limits in production time there is no reason for a schedule any more, Everything should be On Demand and available globally without any limits.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: I am dropping NETFLIX!

Approximately 100million pay TV subscribers in this country, 30million netflix. You might be wishing it away, but the current model will be here a LONG time. There is just way too much money at stake in a variety of industries.

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Fitchburg, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by Kearnstd:

Content is content that is how it adds subs.

Also the Netflix system is the future, Scheduled TV is a relic that needs to go away. Outside of live events or limits in production time there is no reason for a schedule any more, Everything should be On Demand and available globally without any limits.

One interesting thing that is not just a minor abberation is how the internet is actually HELPING fuel interest in traditional scheduled TV - that would be the advent of Twitter. While this may not include me and you, there is a definate boom in live TV viewing of certain "watercooler" programming because of live Twitter updates.
--
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JoeSchmoe007
Premium
join:2003-01-19
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
said by Kearnstd:

... Scheduled TV is a relic that needs to go away. Outside of live events or limits in production time there is no reason for a schedule any more, Everything should be On Demand and available globally without any limits.

I personally agree with you. And IMO each program should be made available in 2 versions - free to view with ads or paid without. However, I think there was a study (I can't find link to it) that showed majority of people don't want to have to make a choice and/or effort to find something specific to watch. They basically WANT to watch whatever is on now.
rick0204

join:2009-05-20
North Bergen, NJ

Glad to hear this.

I have always said that my Netflix subscription is the best value in pay TV. HBO is almost double the cost and has many movies that I do not want to see. GOT is not enough to justify the entire cost of HBO. But Netflix always has content that I want to see. And I can always watch old episodes of my favorite shows anytime I want. The perfect combo for me is Netflix streaming and Redbox for new movies. In a typical month both services cost me about $14.00 and I always have something to watch.

csiemers

join:2000-09-16
Portland, OR
Reviews:
·Comcast

Wasted Opportunities

If I was a shareholder of HBO I'd be upset that they have wasted all these years in avoiding and fighting on-line streaming when HBO could have done it themselves or partnered with NetFlix. Just think of the millions that would have been made!

Of course you couple replace HBO with any of the big entertainment houses that haven't embraced on-line streaming.
--
»www.caryontech.com
ju1ce

join:2012-09-09
Richmond Hill, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable

Re: Wasted Opportunities

Actually as a shareholder I would be upset if they decided to go to a lower revenue earning alternative because it would devalue the current offering which brings in more revenue. Short-Mid term this is still a money maker.

The problem I would gather is.. How do we transition to online while ensuring our revenue has been impacted little. That's the problem with all these companies and I agree with it. As a shareholder I wouldn't want to see my shares drop a huge amount of value while the company is going through transition. Most people (including probably you) are concerned that your investments are continuing to make money.. Otherwise why would you invest?

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Wasted Opportunities

HBO can still make it, but they better hurry. Their indecision is costing them dearly.

As a shareholder, you want them to survive, even if they take risk transitioning to a new hybrid model and that results in short term price drop. If HBO continues down their current path, they are doomed.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: Wasted Opportunities

Lets stop talking about HBO "surviving" with close to 30 million subs. Even AOL still has millions of dialup customers. LOL
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: Wasted Opportunities

I'm sure when you would get AOL discs in the mail 3x a week, nobody ever thought they would become so irrelevant so fast. There's a difference between survival and irrelevance.

Buckle up, HBO needs to adapt or they will die. The traditional channel is a dead man walking. They are in death row. It won't happen tomorrow, but it's coming.

Time Warner already amputated AOL (if you recall AOL was the buyer with that pumped up stock), no reason why HBO can't end up waste down the sewer Just keep watching that Netflix market cap boys.

They can end up in streaming syndication just like Gilligan's Island was on TV...
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

actually selling their service for $15/mo devalues nothing.

Short-Mid thinking is why American business is falling to Asia and has been for years.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

intok

join:2012-03-15
Charge a somewhat lower rate then you do to have the HBO family of channels on the cable or satellite providers, you will make up the per subscriber loss in income with volume by going to a world wide audience, never pull the region locked crap, host and serve the content directly to the customers via internet stream. It's just that simple, cut out the middle man. If anyone in the company complains, slash executive pay. Also more original content, faster. Having a constant supply of high quality content is how you attract and keep subscribers, it's not repeating the same movies we've seen many times before because just about everyone interested in streaming has or had a DVR/PVR/Tivo/TV tuner card for their computer to record what they want to watch and watch it when they want to watch it instead of having to be at the TV at the time of airing.

There are those of us that loved HBO's shows, just not enough to pay the prices that the cable companies wanted for the service since it wasn't enough content for the money.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by csiemers:

If I was a shareholder of HBO I'd be upset that they have wasted all these years in avoiding and fighting on-line streaming when HBO could have done it themselves or partnered with NetFlix. Just think of the millions that would have been made!

What YOU fail to recognize is the value of all those international customers, where profits are likely higher per sub, and much greater numbers exist.
patt2k

join:2009-01-16
kudos:1

Re: Wasted Opportunities

I saw sellers selling 12 month netflix access or accounts for 20$ on eBay if you find such it is worth it otherwise I would never even consider netflix.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

To become HBO

Hastings would have to actually offer first-class content.

antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4

Is HBO's newer stuff on Netflix yet?

:P
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

US hbo blocked in canada

My google play, HBO and other video sources were all unavailable until I came back to the US. Apparently I forgot to sign up for a good reliable US VPN. I could have signed up while I was there but I was there only for 4 days and had lots to do but it was pain to get stuck in the airport with nothing to do in enroute back home.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Netflix is cutting into Piracy

Everything I've seen amongst the public is that having better broadband and a Netflix sub cuts down on piracy.

People are watching Netflix content rather then downloading it on the internet. It's definitely successfully competing with free.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

Hmm..

You can IMAGINE what the numbers must be for bit-torrent...
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA

I haven't had HBO in over 20 years

Can't say I have missed it at all.