updated 02:00 pm EST, Thu February 5, 2009
1m Xbox 360 Netflix users
Microsoft and Netflix on Thursday announced a milestone in their co-operation to bring Netflix movies to the users' homes via the Xbox 360 gaming console, saying one million Xbox Live Gold members downloaded and activated software that lets them access Netflix' library of movies and TV shows. This number was reached in just three months since the service was offered in November, with the equivalent of 1.5 billion minutes of movies and TV episodes consumed by the subscribers.
Users can stream movies directly from Netflix instead of having to cache the entire movie as part of the download, as is the case with services like iTunes or VUDU; the feature lets basic systems like the Xbox 360 Arcade view movies without requiring a significant amount of permanent storage.
The benchmark figure also lends support to the concept of subscription online movie services, which have so far been marginalized in favor of per-movie purchases and rentals. Having access to the Netflix library via the Xbox 360 consoles requires both an Xbox Live Gold membership (priced at $50 per year) and a subscription to Netflix, with monthly plans that qualify for the Internet component starting at $9 per month.