Netflix's competitors helped it land a blowout quarter by selling it some of their best stuff

  • Netflix had a blowout quarter — much better than Wall Street expected.

  • That's partly because competitors like Disney are selling their content to Netflix — a big strategy reversal.

  • Shows like Comcast's "Suits" have become big hits on Netflix this year.

Netflix just added 13.1 million subscribers in the last quarter. That's much better than Netflix or Wall Street had expected. It's a record-breaking quarter for the streamer.

How'd that happen?

In its letter to shareholders, Netflix lists lots of reasons for its success, including, of course, the shows and movies it creates for itself.

But a major reason for Netflix's success in the last year or so has much more to do with Netflix's competition: They're the ones who've started selling Netflix their movies or TV shows again — not long after they insisted they were going to keep that stuff for themselves.

And, it turns out, people love watching stuff on Netflix that other networks and studios made. Just like they used to do in Netflix's early streaming days when old episodes of shows like "Breaking Bad" found huge audiences on Netflix even as new episodes were coming out on rivals like AMC.

These days, that means shows like "Suits," which had a pretty uneventful run on Comcast's USA but became a breakout hit on Netflix this year. On Tuesday, Netflix said that other people's stuff, including "The Super Mario Bros Movie" — (owned by Comcast (and Nintendo)) — and "Young Sheldon" — owned by Warner Bros. Discovery — were big hits in the last quarter.

Expect that trend to continue as more and more Netflix rivals decide they'd rather make money now by licensing some of their best stuff (as well as stuff you've never heard of) to Netflix. Whether that hurts competitors' long-term prospects remains to be seen, but almost all of them seem to have concluded that they need cash in the short term if they're going to be around in the long term.

Today, for instance, you can watch many of WBD's best-known movies, as well as hit HBO shows, on Netflix. Like "Dune," and "The Batman," and "Ballers," and "Band of Brothers."

Meanwhile, the first two seasons of "Yellowstone," the franchise that pretty much keeps owner Paramount afloat, are now two of the top 10 TV shows on Netflix. And coming to Netflix soon: Disney-owned shows you have definitely heard of, including "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy."

Reminder: Disney was the first big media company to announce it was going to stop selling Netflix all of its best stuff, and would use that stuff to power its own streaming forays.

But that was when Wall Street didn't care much about streaming profit. Now it does, so Netflix's competitors have to live with the fact that they're arming their biggest rival.

Read the original article on Business Insider