Yesterday, via Facebook, the CEO of Netflix announced that the company is now bringing in more revenue from subscribers that HBO.
Minor milestone: last quarter we passed HBO is subscriber revenue ($1.146B vs $1.141B),” Hastings boasted. But then came the modesty. “They still kick our ass in profits and Emmy’s, but we are making progress. HBO rocks, and we are honored to be in the same league,” he wrote, adding he was a fan of the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley. (“It hit a little close to home.”)
Netflix continues to do well on Wall Street. Shares are currently at an all time high.
Whether Netflix can ever really gain enough leverage to exact better licensing deals from Hollywood—and hence better margins for itself—is an open question. But maybe those deals will start to matter less and less anyway. HBO’s success in the 21st century is all about its own shows, not the movies that come on in between. Similarly, Netflix subscriptions have surged as the company gains a name for itself as a producer of its own great shows, and it plans to start making even more. To make HBO money, it seems, Netflix will keep trying to become more like HBO.