Netflix is on the verge of surpassing 100 million global subscribers, a testament to how much the video streaming service has changed the entertainment landscape since its debut a decade ago. The company will reach that milestone this weekend if its projections are correct. Netflix made the prediction Monday with the release of its first-quarter earnings.
The service added nearly 5 million subscribers during the first three months of the year, and will end March with 98.7 million customers in roughly 190 countries.
Over the past decade, "what really did it for Netflix was the explosion of phones and tablets that allowed people to watch video everywhere," said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. "But Netflix clearly had a vision before those devices became so ubiquitous."
About 51 million of Netflix's subscribers are in the U.S. By the end of this year, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson expects the majority of the company's subscribers to be overseas. Netflix ended March with nearly 48 million subscribers outside the U.S.