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Netflix

Netflix blew past user growth expectations, reporting Monday that it added 5.3 million new subscribers last quarter, upwards of 1 million more than expected.

Why it matters: Hitting revenue estimates is a big win for Netflix, given that it poured a ton of money into programming investments (more below), as opposed to focusing on profit. It's also another reminder for Pay-TV providers and TV networks that the traditional cable bundle can't compete with the power of on-demand.

  • "It's increasingly clear that the price/value of the legacy video bundle is unsustainable," says BTIG' media analyst Rich Greenfield. "Netflix is growing subscriptions at higher prices, driving more money to spend on content — a virtuous circle."

Investors are thrilled: Netflix stock reached an all-time high in after-hours trading Monday after the network proved it could continue strong user growth internationally. Its U.S. subscription growth has been slowing in the U.S., but that's because its user base is pretty saturated in North America.

  • In total, it added 850,000 new U.S. subscribers and 4.45 million new international subscribers.
  • Netflix predicts that it will add 6.3 million new subscribers next quarter, which would bring its total to 111.2 million paid subscribers globally.
  • The company also continued to beat expectations on revenue, although profit came in slightly lower than anticipated.

What's next? Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos on Monday's earnings said call the tech giant is inching closer towards producing daily new, original content and will invest a lot more in original films: "We plan on (releasing) about 80 (original films) coming up next year and they range anywhere from the million-dollar Sundance hit, all the way up to something on a much larger scale."

Expand chart
Data: Kagan, S&P Global Market Intelligence (Netflix, Amazon and Hulu's programming costs are amortized); Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Netflix spends more on content than nearly every legacy network: Netflix announced its earnings just days after revealing it would raise its subscription fees by $1 to $11 monthly, likely to subsidize increased content costs.

More U.S. households pay for Netflix than Amazon or Hulu. Per Nielsen, 51.2% of U.S. households subscribe to Netflix, which is far more than its subscription rivals. (Amazon Prime is in 28.6% of U.S. households, while Hulu Plus is in 12.7% of U.S. households.)

Users spend more time on Netflix than its top three streaming rivals combined: Netflix accounts for nearly half of the internet streaming time spent by adults in the U.S., according to Nielsen data.

  • Netflix - 46%
  • Youtube - 15%
  • Hulu - 8%
  • Amazon - 4%
  • Other - 28%

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From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

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The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

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The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

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COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.