The additions included 370,000 new subscribers in the USA, and 3.2 million in worldwide markets. Netflix now has 86.7 members around the world, versus expectations of 85.5 million.
Netflix had earlier said it expected to add 2.3 million subscribers during the three-month period that ended in September.
Shares of Netflix's stock have fallen almost 13 percent so far this year, as the company's outlook for adding new users has struggled to keep up with Wall Street's expectations.
We don't usually comment on Netflix's earnings and subscriber growth because it's a bit outside our lane, but the growth ties in to Netflix's creative approach in the next few years.
The company said it plans to license content to existing online service providers in China rather than operate its own service in China in the near term.
Netflix appears to have killed it in Q3 with numbers that sent its stock price up more than 19% in post market trading. Netflix said it expects to see "modest" revenue from this licensing program.
Netflix shares shot up19% in after-hours trading, but the stock is still down about 13% this year, after rising nearly 150% in 2015, when it was the best performing.
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Netflix original content is continuing to resonate with subscribers as the company zones in as a key competitor to Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX)'s HBO.
The company said the 36 percent growth in streaming revenue, which exceeded $2 billion for the first time, was driven by strong content slate including?Stranger Things and the second season of Narcos. It reiterated that it expects to start delivering material global profits next year.
The results are a reversal of what happened in quarter two, with the business previously missing its own subscriber growth predictions both in the U.S. and internationally.
Netflix added 3.6 million members in the third quarter, shattering its own expectations for growth and silencing skeptics on Wall Street.
Netflix earned 12 cents a share, up 71% year over year, on sales of $2.29 billion, up 32%. That was better than forecasts (analysts in the United States had been looking for another weak quarter from the streaming front runner, and the shares had fallen in recent weeks).
Analysts on average had estimated 309,000 additions, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.