Netflix has more subscribers than HBO, rolls out family plan

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Fire. The wheel. Electricity. Sliced bread. The polio vaccine. These pantheon inventions and discoveries forever altered the human experience. It's time to have a conversation about Netflix.

That's obviously a bit hyperbolic, but the trend is clear: people love them some Netflix. The streaming content provider now boasts of 36 million global subscribers. That's more than HBO. House of Cards, the Kevin Spacey political drama from executive producer David Fincher, dropped earlier this year to much critical acclaim and—though the details are still quite vague—provided a "nice impact but a gentle, impact." The new thriller series from Eli Roth, Hemlock Grove, is hardly watchable (I made it into Episode 4 before continuing with the series felt masochistic), but it debuted to a larger audience than HoC. The triumphant return of Arrested Development is barely a month away. Oh, and Netflix stock is doing OK, I guess.

If its after-hours surge holds up when the markets open again tomorrow, Netflix will be the top performing stock in the S&P 500 this year, up 134%. It’s already the best S&P stock since the market’s previous peak in 2007. [Quartz]

Now, Netflix has announced the availability of a "family plan." Typically, the $7.99/month streaming service is available to subscribers on two devices simultaneously. For password sharers, historically, this meant that the third person to the Netflix party was S.O.L. Now, for $11.99/month, users can stream on an additional two devices simultaneously.

A family of four streaming four different shows on four different devices in four different rooms is a depressing image and a frightening commentary on technology's affect on the nuclear family. But, it also means that you can access the Netflix vault of cinematic gems for a mere $3/month, so long as you can find three friends who won't marathon Merlin or some other awful crap that will occupy your Recently Watched and poison the predictor that recommends Witty Indpendent Crime Movies and Social Issue Dramas based on real life.

In 2013, a pack of gum costs close to $2. For a dollar more per month, you can have all of The West Wing that your little heart desires. Three dollars? Well worth it.