Netflix has more than doubled the number of new subscribers it thought it would get this year. Netflix makes movies and TV shows, and provides a service for subscribers to watch these online. The streaming giant said 15.77 million new subscribers signed up for its services in the past three months. It expected an increase of around half this number. The doubling of subscriptions is due to the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of people are staying at home and are using their free time by watching films and TV programmes. Netflix is now one of the world's most valuable companies. It is worth more than the oil giant ExxonMobil. Financial analysts say its value is around $196 billion.
A Netflix official said the surge in membership numbers was probably temporary. The rate of new memberships would probably go down and return to normal after lockdowns end. The company said: "We expect viewing to decline and membership growth to [slow down] as home confinement ends, which we hope is soon." It added: "The coronavirus has reached every corner of the world and, in the absence of a widespread treatment or vaccine, no one knows how or when this terrible crisis will end. We are aware that we are fortunate to have a service that is even more meaningful to people confined at home." The company hopes to start producing more new shows in the near future.