Netflix racked up 1.7 million streaming-only video subscribers in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2012, and while company executives said they don't see any "meaningful near-term impact" from TV Everywhere services, they complained that Comcast is giving its VOD app for Xbox an unfair advantage by not counting usage toward bandwidth caps.
Meanwhile, Netflix confirmed that it is pursuing partnerships with Internet service providers, major retailers, pay-TV operators and others similar to the deal the company struck with Apple to pay for Netflix through their iTunes account.
In some cases "it may make sense for us to let them bill on our behalf," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells wrote in a letter to shareholders. However, they added, "We'll take it slowly; we must make sure we've got the right customer support and financial integration, while maintaining a direct relationship with our members, to ensure the member experience is actually simpler."
The Netflix executives noted that Comcast limits residential broadband customers to 250 Gigabytes per month of total usage. But while Netflix and other over-the-top streaming services are subject to the cap, "Comcast has decided that its own Xfinity Xbox app is not subject to this 250 Gigabyte cap. This is not neutral in any sense," Hastings and Wells wrote. "Net neutrality principles mean a level playing field for all Internet applications."