Netflix streaming tops 1 billion monthly views for first time


At this time last year, Netflix was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. A lot of investors and customers became scared the online rental giant was falling apart just as things were getting good, but it was very arguable that much of the criticism was unneccessary fear.

In fact, Netflix has reached a new milestone as the Watch Instantly digital streaming service saw 1 billion hours viewed last month.

CEO Reed Hastings announced the good news via the following message posted to his Facebook page this week:

Congrats to Ted Sarandos, and his amazing content licensing team. Netflix monthly viewing exceeded 1 billion hours for the first time ever in June. When House of Cards and Arrested Development debut, we'll blow these records away. Keep going, Ted, we need even more!

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the success of Netflix's latest achievement. Certainly the international expansion across Latin America as well as a foot in the door in Europe with launches in the United Kingdom Ireland have helped.

Furthermore, the $7.99 monthly plan is continually more appealing to younger consumers who don't want to shell out anywhere between $50 to $100 each month for cable when they can access plenty of on-demand TV shows and movies on nearly every electronic device they own from gaming consoles to smartphones.

(And even though it applied to DVDs, it also doesn't hurt that Qwikster was squashed before it could happen.)

Nevertheless, this also proves how necessary it is for Netflix (and its competitors) to continue ramping up the amount of content available for instant digital streaming.

With these kinds of solid figures being tossed around and bragged about, it also has the potential to give Hollywood studios more leverage in signing away the rights to content knowing just how many people are turning towards the online, on-demand medium. This is where the market is going, much to the chagrin of traditional cable providers.

[My Take]

Aside from the number of contributing factors that gave Netflix the said streaming growth, along with the international expansion in Latin America and launching in Europe by introducing it first in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the debatable fact that many tech analysts think that 2012 is the year of Smart TVs could be the factor that contributed the most. Netflix is now enjoying the benefits after deciding to partner in 2009 with TV makers to instantly stream movies directly to their high definition televisions. Since then, Netflix has been embedded into different TVs and apparatus like LG and Samsung smart TVs and the LG Google TV.

Now considering the popularity of smart TVs like the LG Google TVs that offer not only premium content like Netflix but also the ubiquitous Google services, Netflix can surely take advantage its position and may see another billion views in the succeeding months as it has already made itself an indispensable content provider to all movie entertainment media hardware manufacturers.

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