Netflix reported Jan. 27 that 48% of its 12.3 million DVD-by-mail subscribers, or about 5.9 million, watched at least 15 minutes of continuously streamed video in Q4. That’s a sharp rise from a year ago, when 28% of subscribers watched video from the then-nascent service.
Netflix is counting on a rising base of streaming video users to slowly reduce the company’s dependence on mailing physical DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Netflix now spends close to $150 million per quarter mailing discs to customer homes.
To spark broader usage of “Watch Instantly,” Netflix has forged integration agreements with a growing roster of consumer electronics manufacturers. According to our latest survey (see VIDEOTRAK, January 2010), 40 non-computer devices including Blu-ray players and Internet-connected TV sets support streaming of Netflix content to TV screens, with more on the way.