Watch out, HBO.
More people in the U.S. now pay to stream movies each month on Netflix than pay for HBO.
Netflix said in a letter to shareholders on Monday that 29.93 million people in the U.S. pay $7.99 each month to stream movies, documentaries and TV shows. That's up from 28.62 million in the previous quarter. HBO doesn't release how many U.S. subscribers it has, but SNL Kagan, a media research and analysis firm, puts that number at about 28.7 million, according to Bloomberg. Netflix said it has more than 40 million streaming customers worldwide.
Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said in a GQ interview earlier this year that Netflix's goal "is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us."
But Netflix has a long way to go to catch HBO when it comes to critical acclaim. The Silicon Valley-based company, which has transformed itself from one that mails DVDs in red envelopes to one with a vast library of streaming content, was nominated for 14 Emmy awards and won three. HBO was nominated for 108 and took home a whopping 27 awards at the ceremony last month, the most of any network.
Netflix, which tends to keep a tight lid on viewership numbers, said in the letter to investors that "Orange is the New Black," the original series about a women's prison, "will end the year as our most watched original series ever" and "enjoys an audience comparable with successful shows on cable and broadcast TV."
HBO would not comment on the news.
Netflix stock rose 9 percent, or $32, to more than $387 in after-hours trading on Monday. The stock price has nearly quadrupled since January.