Netflix members watched 2 billion hours of video in Q4 2011


Netflix may be down, but it’s not out. The streaming and DVD rental company announced today that its more than 20 million members worldwide watched a combined total of more than 2 billion hours of television and movies during the last three months of 2011. This equals out to an average of about 33 hours of video watching per month for each user — which isn’t hard to imagine considering the increasingly popular practice of watching entire seasons, or multiple seasons, of shows all in one sitting.

According to some estimates, this is roughly 4.5 times the amount of time the average user spent watching YouTube videos, and 10 times the amount of video content Hulu users watched, on average.

In other words: Netflix is struggling, but it is by far the most-watched source of streaming video.

“We were thrilled to deliver more than two billion hours of TV shows and movies across 45 countries in the fourth quarter,” boasted Netflix Co-Founder and CEO Reed Hastings in a statement. “Netflix delights members by giving them choice, convenience and control over the entertainment they love for an incredibly low price.”

Just yesterday, Netflix released a trailer for “Lilyhammer,” the first original series from Netflix, which stars Steve Van Zandt of “The Sopranos” and E Street Band fame, who plays a New York gangster who is transplanted in small-town Norway. This series will be followed by the much-anticipated “House of Cards,” which is produced by David Fincher and stars Kevin Spacey. A new season of “Arrested Development” will also air exclusively on Netflix, staring in 2013.

After a massive user backlash that resulted from a price increase for users who wish to receive both streaming and DVD rental, the company saw its stock price plummet as subscribers began to flee. Because of this, the company has seen months of bad press, so it’s not particularly surprising that they are touting these impressive numbers. Still, it would seem that Netflix isn’t out of the woods yet, as the company expects lose money this year as it attempts to stop bleeding customers.

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