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Netflix users jump 26% with Internet movie help

updated 04:55 pm EST, Mon January 26, 2009

Netflix Q4 2008 Results

Netflix this afternoon bucked expectations by revealing a major leap in the number of subscribers to its movie rental service this past fall. The company says its subscriber base surged 26 percent versus a year ago to 9.39 million and that its net income has climbed even faster, jumping nearly 44.6 percent to $22.7 million. Both improvements are "near record" statistics, according to Netflix chief Reed Hastings.

The spike comes despite a weakening US economy and is notable for being helped both by the traditional Netflix business of DVD rentals as well as "growing momentum" with Internet movie streaming. The online component is free with most subscriptions and is now available on several relatively ubiquitous devices, including the Xbox 360, TiVo's newer DVRs and Blu-ray players from both LG and Samsung.

Such an increase potentially gives Netflix a clearer advantage in online movies over rivals such as Apple and VUDU, both of whom have struggled for wider acceptance based on per-movie rentals and purchases.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. dagamer34

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007

    +4

    Yep

    It really goes to show you that price effective schemes will bring in new subscribers. There's absolutely no reason to pay $5 for a movie rental when $9 a month gets you UNLIMITED rentals, plus with an amazing suggestion system that doesn't require you to even leave your home!

    Blockbuster is dead! Long live NETFLIX!

  1. Mixotic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    0

    totally agree, but...

    ...$9 hardly gets you unlimited rentals. With the $9 service plan you can have 1 movie out at a time. If you take into account delivery time, even if you watch and return the movie on the same day it's received you still have a minimum 2-3 day turnaround, meaning you max out at 10-15 movies a month.

    That said, it's still a screaming deal. When you throw is Watch Instantly it's a no brainer. Netflix streaming quality is top notch, right up there with ABC.com. Hulu is a distant second when it comes to streaming quality.

  1. dagamer34

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007

    -1

    Yep

    It really goes to show you that price effective schemes will bring in new subscribers. There's absolutely no reason to pay $5 for a movie rental when $9 a month gets you UNLIMITED rentals, plus with an amazing suggestion system that doesn't require you to even leave your home!

    Blockbuster is dead! Long live NETFLIX!

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +2

    Mac users

    They may want to take a look at if that spike coincided with making their online Instant Movie tool compatible with Macs.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    0

    Well, just wait

    for the likes of Universal to start yelping about more flexible pricing and better DRM.

    :P ;)

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    +1

    re: mac users

    Ya, or maybe it has something to do with the switch to Microsoft's silverlight... haha :)

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999

    0

    time to ante up

    Apple had better decide soon if they are going to get in the game or keeping treating AppleTV as a hobby. Their hardware is simply too limited. TiVo is a DVR that also streams movies, Xbox is a gaming machine that also streams movies, LG and Samsung have blu-ray players that also stream movies.

    AppleTV's other functions, music and photos, just aren't compelling enough as a primary feature to get people to buy it and get the streaming movies as a bonus like those other devices. So Netflix uses those other devices as a trojan horse into your living room and will become the de facto standard for streaming movies.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: mac users

    Except it doesn't run on ppc macs or the appletv, which leaves a lot of people out. TiVo subscription is far more likely.

  1. Eriamjh

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Oct 2001

    0

    8 movies for $9

    I can watch 8 movies a month on the $9 plan. We get the movie on Wednesday, watch it that night, return it Thursday, they send another on Friday, it arrives Saturday, Watch it Saturday, return it Monday.It helps we are about 1 hour from a main distribution facility. I don't bother ripping the movies to save. We watch them and move on.Oh, and at $4.50 a rent a DVD at Blockbuster, they can kiss my a$$.

  1. macdude22

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2001

    0

    Netflix rox

    I canceled Dish years ago and bumped my Netflix up to the 5 disk plan. At 30 bucks it's a steal, my wife and I got plenty of content to watch at any given time. Watch now was icing on the cake (I've got 2 Roku boxes, and an Xbox hooked in now).

    Netflix has very affordable pricing I don't care what anyone says. For the price of a DVD I can watch dozens of DVD's a month, and not be a slave to the Sat/Cable companies, paying for garbage I don't want. I used to watch stuff I didn't even care to watch just to feel like I was getting my worth. Since I canceled it's what I want when I want.

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