Netflix -- seen by some as a growing threat to traditional pay TV
services -- blew past forecasts for subscriber growth, adding 3 million
in the fourth quarter of 2010 to stand at just over 20 million at the
end of December.
The company, which has been increasingly focused on delivering movies
and TV shows over the Internet instead of by DVD through the mail,
added 7.7 million net subscribers last year, up 63% from 12.3 million at
the end of 2009.
"To summarize Q4, we would say that our huge subscriber growth,
fueled by the excitement of watching instantly, impressed even us,"
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote in a letter to shareholders. "More
subscriber growth enables us to spend more on streaming content, making
the Netflix service even better in 2011."