NPD: 61% of digital movies are streamed via Netflix in U.S.

Apple Online StoreAccording to a recent review of the home video market in the U.S. by The NPD Group, Netflix’s share of digital movie units — downloaded or streamed — reached 61 percent between January 2011 and February 2011, followed by Comcast at 8 percent, and a three-way tie for third at 4 percent among DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, and Apple. Based on information from NPD’s new VideoWatch Digital tracking service, digital video now makes up one quarter of all home video volume.

“Sales of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs still drive most home-video revenue, but VOD and other digital options are now beginning to make inroads with consumers,” said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD, in the press release. “Overwhelmingly digital movie buyers do not believe physical discs are out of fashion, but their digital transactions were motivated by the immediate access and ease of acquisition provided by streaming and downloading digital video files.”

NPD also compared consumer-reported satisfaction with four modes of digital-video acquisition: electronic sell-through (EST), Internet VOD (iVOD), cable VOD, and subscription streaming. Consumers clearly recognize that EST services like iTunes have the most “current releases available,” while Netflix streaming gets credit from customers for providing the best “overall shopping experience” and “value for price paid.”

Data note: The information in this press release is from VideoWatch Digital, which is based on online surveys of U.S. consumers age 13 and older conducted between January and the third week of February 2011. The final reporting is based on 10,618 completed surveys.

Source: The NPD Group, Inc.

MacDailyNews Note: In a letter to shareholders posted online on January 26th, Netflix said that Apple TV has done very well for the company, and in just four months had passed the also-growing iPad in Netflix viewing hours.

Related articles:
Apple updates Apple TV with live MLB, NBA streaming, Netflix Dolby Digital 5.1, and more – March 9, 2011
iPad 2′s killer feature: HD mirroring; if you can see it on your iPad 2, you can see it on your HDTV – March 4, 2011
Apple’s HDMI cable works with iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th-gen – March 2, 2011
Netflix sees profits jump 52%; says Apple TV has passed also-growing iPad in just four months – January 26, 2011
Apple sells one million Apple TV units in first 90 days – December 21, 2010


  1. Visited with family in the Vancouver (WA) area this last weekend. The boyfriend of a granddaughter is a salesman for Comcast. He stated that Comcast and all the other cabe operators (including satellite) are bleeding subscribers. The usual promos aren’t working to retain them. The culprit is Boxee and Netflix (not necessarily in that order).

    I know that since signing up for Netflix I rarely watch regular/cable TV any more.

    1. And this is why Comcast and the other big companies supplying your connection and offering their own paid content want to be able to throttle your connection speed for content provided by others, like Netflix.

      That’s why we need internet neutrality. If it takes 4 hours to download a Netflix movie (because Comcast throttles your connection to Netflix), but you can stream it from Comcast they figure you’ll buy from Comcast, not Netflix. The cable companies want the internet to be just another piece of their proprietary delivery system. Other content will get shunted aside.

  2. Netflix is great because it is cheap and has plenty of options. Most of the time you can find something to watch.

    I would like to know their terms with the studios because compared to the pay per view options it seems to a good deal.

    They will be murdered if the studios start wanting more money.

    1. No, just buy Disney and get ABC, ESPN, Touchstone, Pixar, Disney channel, etc.

      I think Apple is really saving its cash for the day when they are strong enough to elbow Comcast and the other abusive big pipe companies aside or bypass them. That’s really the last bastion of monopolistic consumer abuse.

  3. This survey shows clearly why net neutrality is of critical importance for the consumers.

    Netflix (as well as Amazon) is already being throttled by Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner and some other cable operators. While they all offer 20Mbsp and higher speeds to the consumers, Netflix is throttled down to below 1.5Mbps, which is well below 3Mbsp minimum for comfortable live instant-on 720p HD streaming.

    I pay solid money for Verizon’s FiOS, and they deliver 25Mbps fairly reliably to me. Netflix pays massive amounts of money to Akamai to make sure their video streams are delivered to the ISPs’ back doors around the US. All my ISP (Verizon) has to do is let that stream into my home, but NO. Since most ISPs in America are also offering cable TV service, which includes video-on-demand (VOD), they will shamelessly throttle Netflix down to the point of it being unusable, so that their consumers have no choice but use their own VOD offering.

    This needs to be fixed, otherwise, these Netflix numbers will quickly go down.

    1. I’m going to use the “R” word…

      We need regulation of the cable/satellite/DSL industry. The connection service needs to be separated from the ISP/content service by law. Pipes should be dumb pipes. content providers shouldn’t control connections or speeds.

      I have Frontier (Verizon) DSL, but I don’t use any of their ISP services. My domain and web hosting, email, etc. are provided by an independent ISP. It costs me double for these ISP services, since I’m letting the services provided by Frontier, other than a bare connection, go unused. Companies like Comcast and Verizon don’t offer the kinds of flexibility and customization that my independent ISP does. We need net neutrality at a minimum.

  4. I’m surprised at this statistic, because what I keep hearing is that Netflix’ streaming selection is crap. My wife and I stream all our rentals, but we rent them from the cable or iTunes.


Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.