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Netflix streams more than 1 billion hours in June

July 03, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • Netflix says that it streamed more than 1 billion hours of video in June.
Netflix says that it streamed more than 1 billion hours of video in June. (Netflix.com )

This post has been corrected. See below for details.

In a sign that its problems from late 2011 are fading and its service is becoming a more and more powerful force in home media, Netflix streamed more than 1 billion hours of video in June, the first time it has hit that number in a single month.

The news came via a Facebook post from Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, who congratulated the company's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos and his content licensing team, who work out of an office in Beverly Hills.

The last time Netflix provided data on the amount of video its subscribers streamed was in the fourth quarter of 2011, when it streamed 2 billion hours over a three-month period.

Netflix had 26.5 million streaming customers worldwide as of March 31, meaning each consumed an average of 43 hours, or nearly 1 1/2 hours per day.

Hastings has said that Netflix counts on growth in streaming as a key way to retain subscribers -- and avoid spending marketing dollars to replace dissatisfied customers. Netflix was hurt last summer by a surprise price increase that angered many consumers.

Some also predicted that Netflix's business might suffer as it lost access to high-profile new releases from Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures with the end of its partnership with pay cable channel Starz this past winter. But the Silicon Valley video company claimed its customers would find more than enough content from other deals it has signed, most of which are for television reruns.

More than 60% of the video streamed from Netflix is television programs, not movies. And the company is moving into original programming. It began in February with the U.S. debut of the Norwegian comedy "Lilyhammer," starring Steven Van Zandt.

In his post, Hastings predicted that other shows in the works for later this year and early 2013 will drive video consumption even higher.

"When 'House of Cards' and 'Arrested Development' debut, we'll blow these records away," Hastings wrote, referring to an original political drama starring Kevin Spacey and  new episodes of the cult comedy. "Keep going, Ted, we need even more!"

[Correction, Jul. 5, 12:38 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said that Netflix had 23.2 million streaming customers.]

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