Netflix adds nearly 16 million subscribers, crushing estimates

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The fourth season of Money Heist (aka La Casa de Papel) is projected to attract 65 million subscriber views in its first four weeks, unseating Tiger King as the most successful Netflix Original series of 2020, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The quarter spanned the beginning of stay-at-home orders in the USA and around the world, a response to the coronavirus pandemic that apparently led millions to latch onto Netflix for entertainment and comfort when most had nowhere to be but home. But in the first 25 days since its debut, Tiger King held the top spot on Netflix's Top 10 list, until Despicable Me ended that streak this past Friday, The Wrap reports.

This issue hasn't gone away, of course, but Netflix reporting positive cash flow and nearly doubling its net income over the first quarter of 2019 would indicate that it's at least possible that the company can indeed get to a place where its business model consistently works.

The Walt Disney Company recently said its television streaming service has already won 50 million paid subscribers just five months after its launch in the US. It expects lower net subscriber additions in the third quarter as more economies open and because its third quarter past year included new seasons of popular series "Stranger Things" and "Money Heist".

Netflix had a staggering start to the year thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as new subscribers grew more than two times what it forecast.

One of the most popular shows on Netflix during the quarter was docuseries "Tiger King". It says it gained more than 15 million paying customers during the period, bringing the total number of subscribers to 182 million.

First, our membership growth has temporarily accelerated due to home confinement. "My hat's off to them", he said.

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Netflix said it hopes to get voice actors set up in their homes to record future dubs.

Given Netflix's binge-release strategy, Sarandos noted, "We work really far out relative to the industry".

"While our productions are largely paused around the world, we benefit from a large pipeline of content that was either complete and ready for launch or in post-production when filming stopped", the statement added. In the second quarter, the impact will be "modest" and mostly will affect dubbing in various languages, the company said.

"We don't anticipate moving the schedule around much, certainly not in 2020", Sarandos said.

Last fall, Netflix telegraphed its plans to sell senior notes for 1.1 billion euros and $1 billion. Revenue for Q1 is also slightly higher than predicted, at $5.77 billion against $5.76. Analysts on average had expected $5.76 billion.

"We have paused most of our productions across the world in response to government lockdowns and guidance from local public health officials", the company said in the earnings release.

Appreciation of the US dollar, due partially to the coronavirus crisis, dragged on global revenue, the company said.

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