Investors were surprised to discover that Netflix's subscriber numbers were up significantly in the first quarter of 2018. Wall Street was expecting the streaming service to add 6.5 million new subscribers in the quarter, but outpaced that, adding 7.4 million instead. Netflix also predicts another 6.2 million subscribers in the second quarter.
Netflix has said it will spend $8 billion on international TV shows and films in 2018, a comment that was largely laughed at. But clearly it is working to the service's benefit. Between January and March of 2018, Netflix increased its original programming by 85 percent to 483 hours of content.
While Netflix doesn't reveal viewership numbers, the level of investment implies genre programming is offering a strong assist for those numbers. Science-fiction and horror genre fans can be notoriously loyal, and are often the most vocal fans when it comes to word of mouth and social media.
But besides loyalty, Netflix is consistently offering quality genre programming. Since the beginning of the year, the service has released new seasons of Jessica Jones, The Santa Clarita Diet, and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events; new series including Altered Carbon and Lost in Space; and original films including The Ritual and The Cloverfield Paradox.
“Whether our share grows or shrinks is really down to, do we make great content, market it well, serve it up beautifully?” said Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings.