Nearly 6 million Netflix subs streamed content in Q4

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Roughly half of Netflix Inc.’s 12.3 million subscribers streamed video from the Netflix “Watch Instantly” repository of films and TV shows during the final quarter of 2009, making the novel Internet video service one of the most prolific of its kind.

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.

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