Streaming video pioneer Netflix added over a third more subscribers than expected in the last quarter of 2016, a sign of success for its ambitious global expansion that sent its shares up 8%. 

Netflix said it signed up 7.1 million new subscribers globally, far more than the 5.2 million analysts had expected, according to research firm FactSet.

The figure was better thatn targets and came despite the company raising its prices. 

Original shows like "Marvel's Luke Cage" and British drama "The Crown" performed strongly around the world, Netflix said, noting that competitors were adapting to compete. 

Amazon.com recently expanded its Amazon Prime Video service globally, and the BBC announced plans to release entire series at once to allow the "binge watching" popularised by Netflix. 

"It's becoming an internet TV world, which presents both challenges and opportunities for Netflix as we strive to earn screen time," the company said in its quarterly letter to shareholders. 

Netflix, in its earnings report, said it added 5.1 million subscribers outside the US and 1.9 million in its home market in the quarter ended December 31. 

Analysts had forecast 3.73 million non-US additions and 1.44 million in the US.

Netflix said it planned to release more than 1,000 hours of original programming this year, up from 600 hours last year. 

It recently signed a deal with comedian Jerry Seinfeld to stream his show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" as well as two new stand-up specials and other shows he will develop. 

The California-based company said revenue rose 35.9% to $2.48 billion in the three months to the end of December. Analysts on average had expected $2.47 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company said it expected to add 1.5 million subscribers in the US in the current quarter, fewer than the FactSet estimate of 1.79 million. 

In international markets, Netflix said it expected to add 3.7 million subscribers, above the average estimate of 3.05 million. 

Netflix projected negative free cash flow of about $2 billion in 2017, up from negative $1.7 billion in 2016.

Up to last night, Netflix's stock had risen 33.5% since it reported its third quarter results in October.