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Netflix now bigger than rival HBO, with over 31 million subscribers

Netflix added over 10 million members last year, pushing it past rival HBO in number of American subscribers.

The provider of on-demand Internet streaming media reached 31.1 million US subscribers in the third quarter of this year, adding 1.3 million American viewers since Q2.

HBO has only 28.7 million customers in the United States.

Netflix's domestic net subscriber additions were 11 per cent higher than the third quarter of last year.

Over the past three months, Netflix users streamed some 5 billion hours of content, putting the total number of hours streamed in the past six months at 9 billion, or 1,026,716 years.

Its success has shaken many in the tech industry, including Samsung and, who teamed up in August to face up to the Internet streaming giant.

In its stockholders report, the company attributed some of its success to "great press coverage and social buzz generated by Orange is the New Black," Netflix's first original series. The series was positively received among critics.

The streaming company's original series House of Cards was also nominated for nine Emmys, and became the first Internet TV series to win one.

Netflix has been doing well recently since a disastrous miscalculation in 2011, in which the company tried to separate its DVD-by-mail service and rename it Qwikster. Share prices crashed from nearly $300 to a little over $100.

It took the whole of 2012 to recover from that dive, but Netflix is now valued at $352 (£217) a share, and rose more than 6 per cent just today.

Netflix has been rumoured to be planning a number of big projects in the future, including a deal with Marvel to produce and original series, and negotiations with cable companies over including Netflix as an app on their set-top boxes.

Netflix's streaming service is available for £5.99 per month.

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