Netflix is now No. 2 in U.S. video subscriptions, and is poised to become No. 1 by the middle of this year, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog.
Netflix surpassed 20 million subscribers at the end of 2010, making it the second-biggest U.S. video subscription company after cable giant Comcast. It has Comcast in its sights too, based on current trends, and should pass it by mid-2011, the story says.
The news came in Netflix’s fourth-quarter earnings report, which said the company increased revenue by 34% to $596 million and added 3.08 million subscribers in the quarter, the story says. That marks the first time Netflix has ever added more than 2 million customers in one quarter. Netflix’s net income jumped 52% to $47 million.
Given its rapid growth, it’s no surprise that media companies are getting nervous, the article points out. Chief Executive Reed Hastings and Chief Financial Officer David Wells wrote in a letter that accompanied Netflix’s results: “Like the rise of the Fox network 20 years ago, a new entrant bids up the price of content and the incumbent aggregators are not pleased. Netflix is good for consumers, good for content producers, and is one more competitor for existing aggregators.”