Netflix: Now Bigger Than Comcast

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America loves Netflix. At least, that's how it looks by the numbers. The on-demand streaming and by-mail video rental company now has more subscribers than Comcast -- the biggest cable operator in the U.S. That's quite an accomplishment for a firm that only began its subscription service in 1999. Here are a few stats, via Julianne Pepitone at CNN Money:

  • Netflix's global subscriber base grew almost 70% over the past year, to 23.6 million users.
  • More than 7% of Americans now subscribe to Netflix.
  • The company reported earnings of of $60.2 million, or $1.11 a share.
  • That's up from $32 million, or 59 cents a share, a year ago.

It isn't hard to figure out why Americans like Netflix. Its cheaper than a premium movie channel, but you can get to pick what movies you watch. And you can get them by either checking your mailbox or streaming through the Internet, so it's relatively hassle free.

Of course, it's also cheaper than buying movies. And as my colleague Derek explained earlier, we're headed to a post-ownership society -- that appears to apply to movies as well -- just ask Netflix. Who needs to buy a movie when you can stream it or get it in the mail whenever you want?

Read the full story, which includes more info on Netflix' 4th quarter results, at CNN Money.

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Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.
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