Netflix Surpasses Traditional Video Subscriptions As It Reaches 20 Million Subscribers

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Netflix Inc. has posted a 52% profit jump and a 34% revenue increase in the fourth quarter of 2010, which plants the 13-year-old media company in a top spot for media subscription services.

Traditional video services Showtime and Starz have 18.5 million and 17.4 million subscribers respectively, and Netflix came in at 20 million in 2010, with over three million being added just during the holiday season.

Netflix expected to grow as it increased its video on demand streaming service, starting at just $7.99 per month, but only predicted a 3.6 million increase in new subscribers. The total for 2010 turned out to be 7.7 million.

The boom in Internet video overall contributed to Netflix’s growth, CEO Reed Hasting was careful to point out. The overall acceptance of video on demand as a desirable media form influenced Netflix’s growth. Still, their impressive growth spells good news for on demand content which, in turn, may influence more entertainment companies to offer licenses to Netflix and other services.

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