Netflix streaming services popular among new users

Netflix saw a drastic first-quarter profit increase due to a larger number of new subscribers who are drawn to the company’s online streaming services.

The movie rental service ended the quarter with close to 14 million subscribers, with more than 1.7 million new subscribers joining the service.  Specifically, its instant-streaming service appeared to be the major reasoning behind the growth, with 55% of subscribers using the “Watch Instantly” service to watch at least 15 minutes of a movie or TV episode.

Netflix first expanded the streaming service to the Microsoft Xbox 360, and then later started offering it on both the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.

Netflix streaming services popular among new users

“It is clear that our performance, and the overall appeal of the Netflix service, is being driven by subscribers watching instantly,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in a statement released by Netflix.  “Our growth continued to accelerate in the first quarter, with record net subscriber additions and record-low subscriber acquisition cost.”

Along with support on all three gaming consoles, instant viewing has also been added to the Apple iPhone, Sony Bravia TVs, Roku, and other set-top boxes. Netflix’s cheap monthly rental plans already include streaming support, so it’s not a surprise the rental company is seeing such significant level of streaming use.

I fully expect this trend to continue well into the coming years, with manufacturers expected to offer streaming services on an even larger number of HDTVs, set-top boxes, and other consumer products.  Netflix and other services are now testing the streaming market, with competitors also seeking to generate new revenue through movies, TV episodes, and other material.