Netflix Now More Popular Than HBO In The US, Lags Far Behind Globally

Netflix revealed its Q3 numbers this week and the company is now more popular than HBO, at least in the United States.

Netflix claims 29.9 million paid U.S. subscribers among its ranks, approximately 1.1 million more than HBO.

While Netflix has quickly become the biggest paid TV service in the United States, it still lags far behind HBO’s overall market which accounts for 114 million subscribers worldwide. In comparison Netflix services only 9.2 million customers globally.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had nothing but praise for HBO during his Monday afternoon live video broadcast:

“HBO is really focused on doing incredible work and they’ll probably do some of the best shows they ever do in the next five years. I don’t know when we’ll catch them. It’ll be a long time. They’ve been at it since 1972—that’s 40 years—and we’ve been at it in the streaming sense only seven years.”

Netflix has been helped along by its original programming which now includes House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Hemlock Grove, among other shows. Last quarter Netflix added 1.1 million paying subscribers.

With the low cost of just $7.99 per month Netflix has managed to attract millions of customers, however, the company faces steep competition from Amazon Instant Prime and its upcoming list of new shows, and Hulu and its growing popularity among zero TV households.

Netflix’s next move? The company is working towards several new documentaries to complement its original programming.

There is one dark spot on Netflix’s radar, DVD subscribers fell to 7.2 million and contributed $107 million in profit. The U.S. Postal Service rate hike in January will cost the company upwards of $4 million in 2014.

Do you think Netflix has what it takes to eventually surpass HBO on a global scale? What does the company need to add to its lineup in order to attract long-term customers?