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Netflix soon to be the largest subscription entertainment service in the U.S.

netflix-logoYou don’t need the above headline to know that Netflix is huge. More and more people are opting away from pay movie channels on cable TV while the networks themselves put increasing effort into developing original projects that add value to their rosters… eventually bringing those projects to Netflix after seasons end and made-for-TV movies air. The biggest component in the service’s success, without any doubt, is its robust Watch Instantly library of streaming video content. Removing physical media and mailings from the equation entirely, this component of Netflix offers subscribers instant access to thousands of films and TV series’ and has contributed significantly to the service’s rise in popularity in recent years.

The company is due to release its quarterly earnings report on Monday, and analysts predict that the additional estimated 3.7 million subscribers that have joined bring its total user base up to roughly 23.7 million, The Hollywood Reporter reveals. Even if the actual numbers fall short of the estimated figure, it is believed that the company has grown large enough to become the number one subscription entertainment business in the United States.

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Phone, cable and Internet service provider Comcast is currently in the top spot, with 22.8 million video subscribers. Satellite radio service Sirius XM holds steady at number two, with 20.2 million. The expectation once the numbers are released is that Netflix and Sirius XM will be battling for the number one spot while Comcast will settle in at number three, thanks to the shrinking number of new subscribers. NPD analysts peg 61 percent of all movies streamed over the Internet as coming from Netflix, eight times more than Comcast, BMO Captial Markets analyst Edward Williams tells THR.

“Following the torrid pace of subscriber growth since Netflix’s Watch Instantly service made its way onto game consoles, we expect subscriber growth to remain elevated,” Williams said.

Observers are looking to offerings like Time Warner’s HBO Go, which was recently announced for a May 2 rollout on iOS and Android devices, as viable competitors to Netflix’s streaming content dominance. The amount of money the company spends on securing rights to that streaming content will be looked over carefully by industry analysts as they gauge what the future holds for Netflix and its competition.

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