Netflix banks 10 million subscribers

Internet streaming gives firm major boost

Online DVD rental company Netflix said on Thursday it now had more than 10 million subscribers, reflecting its continued appeal with movie viewers, and its shares rose.

Netflix, which has moved aggressively in the emerging market to deliver films to TV and other devices via the Web, said it added more than 600,000 net subscribers since January 1.

The company's shares rose 3.62%, or $1.31, to $37.48 a share in afternoon trading.

Netflix, best known for renting DVDs by mail, is the only company offering a subscription-based streaming video service as other rivals such as Amazon.com, Apple and Blockbuster compete with a la carte, pay-per-view rentals.

Last week, Netflix said one million Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console users had activated its movie streaming service in the past three months, but it did not say how many subscribers it actually gained from that partnership.

With the Netflix application, Xbox LIVE Gold members, who pay $50 a year to Microsoft for various applications, can view content from Netflix on a TV via the Xbox 360 system if they are also members of a Netflix plan, priced around $9 a month to include its Watch Instantly streaming service.

Netflix last month said its stronger-than-expected quarterly results were propelled by growth in its Web video streaming service.

Netflix has offered the Watch Instantly streaming service for over two years, but it was originally only available on PCs. It has since offered streaming Netflix video from the Internet through various devices, including the Roku set-top boxes, the Xbox, LG Electronics products and others.
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