Netflix Is Expected To Surpass HBO In U.S. Subscribers: Updated

Looks like that pivot to streaming has paid off.

Update: Netflix reported its quarterly earnings Monday after markets closed, and they were pretty impressive: 31 million subscribers in the U.S., 9 million around the world, and stock that is trading at $390 per share. AllThingsD's Peter Kafka makes the interesting point that the firm uses original content to draw attention to the streaming site, whose real business may or may not be getting people to sit down and watch paid-for reruns of an entire series, such as Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.

It's no secret that Netflix aspires to become the likes of HBO. Now, an analyst says the streaming company is poised to surpass Time Warner's premium cable network in U.S. subscribers.

The firm Needham & Co. estimates that Netflix has reached 30 million paid subscribers in the U.S. as of the end of the third quarter, edging it ahead of HBO's 28.7 million customers, Bloomberg reports.

CEO Reed Hastings irked many subscribers in 2011 when the company separated its streaming and DVDs-by-mail businesses, but it looks like the pivot to web content is paying off. Part of Netflix's success can be attributed to Hastings's gamble on original content, including the Emmy-winning series House of Cards as well as Orange Is the New Black and the latest season of Arrested Development. After years of resistance, it appears pay TV operators are warming up to the idea of working with Netflix, given recent reports of possible Netflix integration into their set-top boxes.

[Image: Flickr user Shardayyy]

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