Online Streaming Movies Grows Dramatically

Source : http://www.azcentral.com

We may have less money, but we're no less impatient.

Flying in the face of the struggling economy, movies-by-mail service Netflix announced Jan. 27 that business was booming. And the service gave most of the credit to the appeal of near-instant delivery of films streamed to subscribers' TV sets via Xbox 360 game systems, some Blu-ray Disc players, Net-enabled TV sets and set-top boxes.

Growing availability of video content at home, work and on the go via YouTube, Hulu, Fancast and other video sites is making us a nation of multitasking video consumers, says analyst James McQuivey of Forrester Research. "What is happening, overall, is people are spending more time with the TV and PC screen because of all these easily accessible video sources," McQuivey says. "Netflix is one of the many enablers of this new addiction."

Its subscriber base jumped to nearly 9.4 million at the end of the year, compared with 8.7 million in September, and revenue and profits followed. Next year, Netflix expects to reach about 11 million subscribers. "The precise impact of the recession is unclear, but it's clear that streaming is energizing our growth," says company co-founder Reed Hastings.

Home viewing isn't at the expense of movie box office: Hollywood took in more than $9.5 billion in 2008, nearly matching 2007's record $9.6 billion, though DVD sales dropped by 9 percent.

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