Netflix reveals first 2018 subscriber figures

The streaming giant exceeded expectations and gained 7.4 million subscribers in the first quarter, but has expressed its “regret” over the Cannes film festival fall-out

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Netflix has announced its first 2018 subscriber figures, which reveal that the streaming giant has gained 7.4 million users so far this year.

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The growth in the quarter was mainly due to Netflix’s expansion into foreign markets, with users outside of the US making up nearly three quarters of its new subscribers.

Netflix now has 125 million subscribers worldwide, and expects overseas sales to overtake those in its US home market for the first time in the next three months.

In a letter to shareholders, CEO Reed Hastings also spoke of Netflix’s “regret” over the Cannes film festival fall-out.

“We regret our films not being able to compete at this year’s Cannes film festival,” he wrote.

“The festival adopted a new rule that means if a film is in competition at Cannes, it can not be watched on Netflix in France for the following three years. We would never want to do that to our French members.

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“We will continue to celebrate our films and filmmakers at other festivals around the world but unfortunately we will have to sit out Cannes for now so that our growing French membership can continue to enjoy our original films.”