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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix on Thursday said it added 4.4 million subscribers globally last quarter, which not only beat Wall Street expectations, but also marked the first time that the company reported positive subscriber gains in the past six months.

Why it matters: The tech giant credits a more normalized content release schedule last quarter for the gains. It blamed subscriber slowdowns during the past two quarters on COVID-related production delays.

Details: The company credited increased investments in foreign programming for user engagement gains, beginning with "La Casa de Papel" and more recently with its mega-hit "Squid Game."

  • Squid Game has been ranked Netflix's top program in 94 countries. The company said 142 million member households globally watched the title in its first four weeks, a stat it called "mind-boggling" in a letter to shareholders.

Between the lines: The company said later this year, it will switch the metric it uses to describe engagement with its shows from the number of accounts that watched them to the number of hours viewed.

  • The tech giant says that it thinks this is a better indicator of overall success of its titles and it "also matches how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching."
  • The company said it will also begin to more regularly release title metrics outside of its earnings report so that people could get a better sense of how Netflix titles perform in real-time, similar to television ratings.

By the numbers, per CNBC:

  • Earnings per share (EPS): $3.19 vs $2.56 according to Refinitiv survey of analysts
  • Revenue: $7.48 billion vs $7.48 billion, according to Refinitiv
  • Global paid net subscriber additions: 4.4 million vs 3.84 million, according to StreetAccount

What to watch: The company continues to face a saturated streaming market in the U.S. and will need to look abroad to continue adding more subscribers. Netflix said that Asia Pacific region was its largest contributor to membership growth last quarter.

Go deeper ... Netflix's earnings over the past year:

Go deeper

A-list actors made the climate movie we deserve

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence walk along the train platform next to an Acela train at South Station during filming of "Don't Look Up" on Dec. 1, 2020. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The upcoming Netflix film, “Don’t Look Up,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, is ostensibly about the discovery of a “planet killer” comet hurtling toward Earth. But the film is clearly an allegory about climate change, as the climate world instantly realized when the Netflix trailer dropped Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the most prominent climate change movie to be released since Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" in 2006, and it has the best cast ever assembled around this topic.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.