Netflix predicted it would add five million subscribers in the current quarter, which ends in September, slightly slower than the pace a year ago.
Subscriber additions: 5.1 million total - 670,000 in the USA and 4.47 million internationally.
Netflix shares sank about 13 percent after hours when the streaming service reported subscriber numbers that were lower than expected. The BBC report on this news suggests investors don't lose their heads, especially as Q2's results come in the wake of "two extremely strong quarters of comfortably beating expectations on adding subscribers." . In the second quarter of 2017, it earned 15 cents a share. Netflix has borrowed money repeatedly to pay for its programming, and expects to spend between $3 billion and $4 billion more in cash than it will generate in 2018. Netflix is hoping a flood of content from new sources including the Obama family will help push new subscribers to the service.
The company called its performance in the second quarter "strong but not stellar".
Meanwhile, Apple - the world's most valuable company - is spending about $1 billion on original programming for a video service of its own.
Netflix's explosive growth may be starting to plateau. Ives expects Netflix to pour another $10 billion into its video mix next year. For the first time, Netflix generated more revenue outside the U.S.: worldwide revenue totaled $1.92 billion and U.S. revenue was $1.89 billion for Q2.
Netflix shares have doubled in value this year, and just this week the company surpassed HBO with the highest number of Emmy nominations of anyone, with 112.
Netflix has already been battling challenges from Amazon, Google's YouTube and Hulu in the video streaming market, and it is likely to face even stiffer competition as other formidable rivals try to muscle into the market.
The overly optimistic projections were "pretty broad across multiple markets", Chief Financial Officer David Wells said on a post-earnings webcast.
Going forward, "We anticipate more competition from the combined AT&T/WarnerMedia, from the combined Fox/Disney or Fox/Comcast as well as from global players like Germany's ProSieben and Salto in France", the company said in the investor letter.
"Our strategy is to simply keep improving", Hastings said in the letter to shareholders, "as we've been doing every year in the past".