Netflix says it now has 104 million subscribers worldwide

Netflix shares surged on Monday after the firm said it now had about 104 million subscribers, a larger-than-expected number that boosted revenues.

Company leaders said the gains were a sign that investment in new shows and movies was paying off as online television becomes more popular.

The firm is behind shows such as 13 Reasons Why, about teen suicide, and political drama House of Cards.

Boss Reed Hastings said it was “the rewards of doing great content”.

The BBC reports that Netflix shares rose more than 10 per cent in after-hours trading following the announcement of its second-quarter earnings.

Company leaders said new content creation was critical to competing against other online rivals such as Amazon and YouTube, as well as traditional television.

They said generating new content also meant streaming services were expanding the size of the overall market.

“The largely exclusive nature of each service’s content means that we are not direct substitutes for each other, but rather complements,” company leaders wrote in a letter to shareholders.

The shift from linear TV to on-demand viewing is so big and there is so much leisure time, many internet TV services will be successful.”

Netflix said it added about 5.2 million members during the quarter, mostly from overseas.

International members now account for about half of Netflix subscribers.

Netflix has cultivated those audiences with movies such as Okja, a film made by one of South Korea’s top directors about a young girl’s quest to recover a giant companion from a multi-national corporation.

The company also said it expected international members to help boost profits for the year – a first for that part of the business.

The growth helped Netflix to report a 32 per cent rise in second quarter revenues to $2.8bn, and it expects revenues to reach nearly $3bn in the third quarter.

Profits for the three months to June were $65.6m, up about 60 per cent year-on-year.