Netflix Now on Par with Comcast in Subscriber Numbers

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News Posted: Tue, Apr 26 2011 11:50 AM
Life is good for Netflix, the video rental and streaming service that is now bigger than Comcast, at least if we go by the numbers. According to Netflix's latest earnings report, the company now boasts 23.6 million subscribers around the globe. That's more than Comcast, which just so happens to be the biggest cable operator in the U.S.

For the quarter ended March 31, Netflix reported worldwide net profits of $60 million on revenue of $719 million. Compare that to one year ago, when Netflix's profits were $32 million on revenue of $494 million.


That isn't surprising considering Netflix's more than aggressive push into the living room. The streaming service is accessible on nearly every device imaginable, from TVs to Blu-ray players, to consoles and tablets, and much more. Combined with a growing catalog of streaming titles, Netflix managed to grow its global subscriber base by almost 70 percent over the past year. Need more to chew on? Digest this: more than 7 percent of Americans now subscribe to Netflix.

Meanwhile, the number of Comcast subscribers is going down. Perhaps that's a coincidence, but it could also be indicative of cable subscribers jumping ship to Netflix, where they can watch what they want, when the want, provided it's available in Netflix's online catalog. And if it isn't, there's a good chance the movie or show they want to watch is available on DVD.

Do you think cable companies should be worried about Netflix's growth?
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LBowen replied on Tue, Apr 26 2011 12:11 PM

Cable T.V. could be on a bad course. As I posted before on the acquisition of some Blockbuster leases by Dish network, internet streaming and very competitively priced platforms like Redbox are giving the consumers what they want and when they want it; and might I add usually without commercial interruption.

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deadmanet replied on Tue, Apr 26 2011 1:00 PM

I think they got a lot to worry about. If a company like Netflix can just get high speed internet added to it's services for cheaper than everyone else, then they got it made.

I only still have comcast for the internet. And extremely basic cable(local only, no digital box),it's cheaper as a bundle than just to have the interenet alone. Funny huh?

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Cable TV needs a serious overhaul in the model they use what they are offering is overpriced and often they are treat their customers terribly.

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deadmanet replied on Tue, Apr 26 2011 2:12 PM

@omeqa

Yup. I recently moved and had nothing but trouble with getting my service transfered. Long story short, they messed up and gave me a new account, instead of transfering old one, and then locked my old account(and email addresses) saying they never got the digital equipment back.(which they did) I'm still fighting with them on that.

And they keep charging so much, because people will pay it. Most of us(just guessing) would not be able to do without internet at least. I know I can't. Everything I do is online.(Banking, etc...) Until someone can challenge them like Netflix, etc...are starting to do. We are stuck. Either pay the high prices, or do without.

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jonation replied on Tue, Apr 26 2011 2:24 PM

TV as we know it will end. Users want to choose exactly what they want to watch, or if feeling spontaneous- they want options tailored to their taste. Most importantly, consumers hate advertising. They will gladly pay not to have to deal with them.

The old TV model cannot even hold a candle to the interactive future, it will end. It's only natural.

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LLeCompte replied on Tue, Apr 26 2011 2:56 PM

All through high school, i only had about 25 channels. Mainly because my mom couldnt afford the insane price for the "extended Cable." In college in my dorm i had tv, but it was included in my rent. Now that i live in my own house, i dont have cable at all. Its a waste of money IMO because i can either stream stuff online, or watch better shows on the internet. Netflix is doing to the TV industry what the MP3 did for the music industry, and its a good thing. Maybe now the cable companies will wake up and see that we are tired of their crap.

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AKwyn replied on Tue, Apr 26 2011 6:56 PM

LBowen:
Cable T.V. could be on a bad course. As I posted before on the acquisition of some Blockbuster leases by Dish network, internet streaming and very competitively priced platforms like Redbox are giving the consumers what they want and when they want it; and might I add usually without commercial interruption.

Cable TV and Satellite TV are already on a bad course. You forget about terrestrial television, one that requires an antenna for and don't get as much choices. So many people are considering switching from Cable/Satellite TV to terrestrial TV because it's cheaper and the C/S TV's don't have many justifiable choices.

Also, I use Redbox but you gotta have it in your city/state, you can't find it just anywhere. I agree that it has eroded at the rental share for Blockbuster and others but it's cheap and it usually has some recent movie that you want. Blockbuster (and Netflix) does have a bit of a wider selection but it wasn't enough to keep Blockbuster in business.

So yeah, Netflix is dominating the on-demand/rental market in both DVD's and streaming. Sure, we can't get all of the TV seasons here but at least we get a lot of movies and we can have those movies straight shipped out to us if we want, and we can keep them for as long as we want too. This is where Cable/Satellite TV fails on this regard, I'm not paying alot of money towards a Movie on Demand so I can only watch it for 24 hours, I mean come on!

 

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I think this is going to be a bigger step than just competing with cable companies. If netflix keep going on its current path. They will be on par to take over most major movie studios, then even companies like Time Warner. Of course Comcast is now part of AT&T which is basically owned by the govmnt so now you will watch and believe exactly what they tell you to. I am sure that will make all you revolutionary lefties happy unless it is done by the right :P

Look at the new deal with Kevin Spacey. Now that Netflix is getting into generating original content it will be able to operate as a new form of movie studio! That is also probably the reason that you are seeing more cable channels cut down on their original programing and only producing the cheapest crap they can get. IE: Stargate universe gets canceled and is replaced with stupid shows like WWE! Or dumb cooking shows like Quantum Kitchen with a guy who knows less about quantum science than a five year old going into a Hobby Shack with a 100dollar toy budget! If I played the market, I would say now is the time to buy Netflix stock. Then again there are too many out there trying to destroy wallstreet in favor of a government run Wallmart :P

We will probably see alot of companies scale their business models to be a centered studio/content provider all in one. Then again I have been saying that for a while, where all your phone, tv, cable, gaming, porn, gps, Internet content will all be under one moniker?

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JOMA replied on Tue, Apr 26 2011 8:58 PM

The streaming thing was probably one of the biggest factors in their growth. I know a lot of people who signed up once they had streaming who never would have considered it when they only did by the mail DVD.

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HHGrrl replied on Tue, Apr 26 2011 11:53 PM

I think cable companies are definitely taking notice of the success Netflix is enjoying. It's a competitive market and it's only going to get more competitive.

Cable companies still have a couple of things working in their favor including high-speed internet bundling (as deadmanet pointed out, sometimes the bundle is cheaper!) and live events (sports, news, etc). At least for now, most people I know use their cable provider for both of these things.

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"At least for now, most people I know use their cable provider for both of these things."

That is only because for most people they have no choice! Many people are zoned to not have a choice or they live in apartment building where you cant put a dish.

If they came out with a USB dongle that provided you with all Internet/TV/Phone services for 100 bucks a month tomorrow. I could guarantee that everyone would drop cable in an instant!


 

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jman7 replied on Wed, Apr 27 2011 4:10 PM

Everyone is forgetting about the INTERNET ISP CAPS that are now be rolled out. AT&T DSL will now be capped at 100GB per month. That means using Internet video media providers as your main source of entertainment will become impossible for families. If 3 people in my household watch 1 movie a day in HD my AT&T cap will now be exceeded in less than 1 week. The ISP which are all now video providers (AT&T is now rolling out video at snails pace) as well are making sure the lions share of revenues continue to come down their pipeline.

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