Netflix Monthly Viewing Tops 1 Billion Hours in June

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Netflix stock rose Tuesday after CEO Reed Hastings announced that the video streaming service topped a record 1 billion hours of viewing in June.

Based in Los Gatos, California, the company jumped 6.2 percent to $72.04 at the close, marking its biggest gain since May 23, Bloomberg reports. Overall, the shares have gained 4 percent in 2012.

In January, Netflix said viewing in the final three months of 2011 had totaled more than 2 billion hours, but a rep for the company declined to provide the previous record.

In response to their record-setting month, Hastings praised chief content officer Ted Sarandos, and predicted that new programs will only increase these numbers.

“When House of Cards and Arrested Development debut, we’ll blow these records away,” Hastings wrote on Facebook.

Netflix has increasingly focused on acquiring original content in an effort to compete with Amazon.com, Inc., Hulu LLC and other streaming services. House of Cards, a $100 million series from David Fincher, is set to bow later this year. The project is based on the British 1990 miniseries.

On Monday, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger said Netflix’s popularity was due in large part to TV content targeted towards kids. Juenger added that entertainment giants such as Walt Disney and Viacom should limit their content -- or make it more expensive -- in response.

Netflix fired back at the report, saying: “Children’s content is popular, but no more so than sitcoms, movies or serialized dramas… If you ask small groups of young male subscribers how important extreme sports is, they will likely respond that it is more important than kid shows. The (analyst's) report is based on 16 mothers, not a broad cross section of our members.”

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