Netflix reaches 50 million subscribers

Netflix has reported a healthy toehold on the video market in the second quarter as it passes the 50 million subscriber mark.

The company's services, available to subscribers in 40 countries, recorded a sales increase of 25 percent to $1.15 billion in 2014's first quarter, up from $837 million in the same period last year. The net income in the first quarter of 2014 was $71 million, up from 2013's $29 million in the first quarter, reported Bloomberg Businessweek. Much of the success is being attributed to the hit show "Orange is the New Black," which has lifted user numbers past 50 million.

The retailer is predicting 1.3 million new members in the third quarter to reflect last year's membership additions when 2013 saw the successful launch of "Orange is the New Black." 

Netflix also announced a growth in its international markets with a September launch in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. These markets have more than 60 million broadband households, which will raise the international market to more than 180 households, two times the number of U.S. broadband households.

"In May, we raised prices modestly in most of our markets for new members on our two screens at a time HD plan, and introduced a one screen at a time, standard definition plan across our markets," stated the letter. "There was minimal impact on membership growth from this price change."

Gift cards are also on the horizon for Netflix, which will hit stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Germany this fall.

Netflix faces increasing competition from companies such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which is beefing up original content and streaming services on Amazon Prime.

For more:
-See this Bloomberg Businessweek article
-See this Netflix shareholder's letter

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