Netflix Now Second-largest Movie "Channel"
More people may be watching movies on their TV sets and computers from Netflix's streaming service than are watching movies via pay-TV services Starz and Showtime, the Wall Street Journal observed today (Thursday). The newspaper observed that Netflix added 3.1 million new subscribers over the December holidays, bringing its total number to more than 20 million, surpassing Showtime with 18.5 million and Starz with 17.4 million, and putting it within striking distance of HBO, which has 28.3 million. Netflix also posted a 52-percent increase in fourth-quarter profit to $47.1 million from $30.9 million during the same quarter a year ago. In an interview with the newspaper, Netflix chief Reed Hastings credited the company's growth in the quarter to "the growth and acceptance of on-demand, click-and-watch Internet video," which he called "phenomenal." The company also saw a phenomenal jump in its stock price. In mid-morning trading it was up a whopping 13.51 percent to $207.75 from $183.03 at Wednesday's closing. A year ago it was trading at $49.13.