Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up

Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up
FILE- This March 19, 2018, file photo shows the Netflix app on an iPad in Baltimore. Netflix reports financial results Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix’s popularity is still booming, even as the video streaming service rolls out it biggest U.S. price increases and girds for new challenges from Walt Disney and Apple, two of the world’s most popular brands.

The ground-breaking video service added 9.6 million subscribers worldwide during the opening three months of the year, topping the projections of both Netflix’s own management and the analysts that steer investors’ expectations. The first-quarter surge left Netflix with nearly 149 million subscribers through March.

Netflix’s performance may help ease any worries related to a recent price hike that raised the cost of its most popular plan to 3 a month, a increase. New U.S. subscribers had to start paying the higher price in January, but it only recently started to hit existing customers.