Netflix's third-quarter earnings released after the stock market close Wednesday signaled a rebound of sorts from its last report where it saw a loss of users. The service added nearly 6.8 million subscribers with 520,000 in the U.S. and 6.3 million abroad. Both Wall Street analysts and Netflix had forecast adding a total of 7 million subscribers.
In its earnings note, Netflix wrote: "With so many firms now looking to provide premium video content to consumers, it’s a great time to be a creator of content. Amazing content can be expensive. We don’t shy away from taking bold swings if we think the business impact will also be amazing."
Netflix is spending $15 billion this year all in the name of being amazing. Still, it is not always easy to see tangible amazement since the streamer is notoriously secretive with its viewership data.
The service did release some viewership numbers with its earnings, boasting that "Stranger Things" pulled in 64 million views in the four weeks following its July 4 premiere. Netflix said this surpasses the numbers of any of the shows for which it has released similar figures in past earnings reports. That data though has been few and far between.
"Stranger Things" cast
Several third-party outfits try to track Netflix viewing. One streaming "guide," Reelgood, pulls data from users about what they're watching and uses that to extrapolate the most-watched programming in a given week.
So FOX Business, using Reelgood data, is taking a look at the top Netflix originals for the week of Oct. 10.
1. THE POLITICIAN
From uber-producer Ryan ("American Horror Story," "Glee") Murphy's latest high school tale tracks a student who has known since he was 7 years old that he is going to be the president of the United States. But first, to get to the White House he must press the flesh in the hallways of St. Sebastian High School in the race for student body commander-in-chief. Gwyneth Paltrow co-stars.
2. BIG MOUTH
Featuring a stellar line-up of comedy voices such as John Mullaney, Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, the animated series follows a group of 7th graders, including best friends Nick Birch and Andrew Glouberman, as they make their way through puberty in the leafy suburbs of New York City.
3. THE SPY
Funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen takes a serious turn in this six-part, inspired by true events mini-series. Cohen plays an Israeli desk clerk in the 1960s who becomes an undercover agent for the Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, who goes inside Syria on a dangerous and lengthy mission.
From the mind of "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening it is the opposite of "Frozen" or "Cinderella." In this fantasy cartoon, Princess Bean of Dreamland is a 19-year-old whose favorite royal duty is drinking and hanging out with her elf friend, Elfo, and her personal demon, Luci " All of which exasperates her father the king.
Based on the real-life founding of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit in the 1970s, this period piece tracks two federal agents who dive into the psychology of killers and getting close -- sometimes too close — to mass murderers including David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz, Charles Manson, and the Atlanta child murders.
It is series like these and others in its stable, such as "Glow," "The Crown" and a huge line-up of stand-up comedy specials, that Netflix is counting on to defend its turf against the new streaming interlopers from Disney, Apple, AT&T's Warner Media and anyone else.
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"We have been moving increasingly to original content both because of the anticipated pullback of second-run content from some studios and because our original content is working in the form of member viewing and engagement," Netflix wrote in its earnings release.
The streamer also promised to boost other areas of content too: "We’re also investing aggressively in original films and making great progress with improving results."
The first of Netflix's streaming competitors — Apple TV+ — steps up on Nov. 1 and 11 days later, Disney+ follows suit.