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Couch salesmen rejoice: U.S. Netflix users streamed 5.1 billion hours in 3 months

Do not adjust your computer screen, you read that headline correctly. During the second quarter of 2014 (April – June), U.S. Netflix subscribers managed to collectively binge out on 5.1 billion hours of content, according to Broadband TV News. This gargantuan figure is almost 300 percent greater than the 1.8 billion hours of total streaming during the fourth quarter of 2011 (October – December), as OTT (over the top) video consumption continues to gain strength in the market.

Related: Netflix could top 100 million international subscribers by 2020

The numbers come from a study by The Diffusion GroupNetflix 2014 – Domestic Dominance, International Escalation.

And U.S. viewers aren’t the only ones logging in. As Broadband TV News notes, overall international Netflix streaming actually increased at an even faster rate than in the U.S. during the same time period (October 2011 – June 2014). During those formative years in Netflix’s streaming expansion, total international streaming grew from a mere 200,000 hours streamed in Q4 2011 to 1.9 million in Q2 2014. The numbers represent an almost ten-fold increase.

Netflix launched its revolutionary service in 2007. Seven years later, the company is now on the tail end of a large-scale expansion outside U.S. borders, including a recent plunge into countries in Western Europe. And while U.S. video consumption of Netflix streaming content has thus far been responsible for the majority of total worldwide streaming hours, TDG’s numbers seem to indicate a potential sea change on the horizon.

During Q3 2011, U.S. subscribers comprised 94 percent of the global total; that number has fallen to a still-dominant, yet clearly waning, 72 percent as Netflix has instituted its move abroad. And now that Netflix’s paws are fully extended into the cookie jars of Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, this trend is likely to continue. Research firm IHS estimates overseas bingers will make up as much as 20 percent of the service’s subscriber base by 2015.

The firm anticipates Netflix will add a total of eight million new subscribers to its European tally by the end of 2018.

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