With more than 23 million subscribers, Netflix is the world’s largest internet based subscription service for movies and television programs. For $7.99 per month an individual subscriber in North America and 45 other nations can see unlimited movies, video and Television programs on their TV sets and computers as well as get unlimited DVD’s delivered to their homes.
After an extremely difficult year Netflix reported an buoyant fourth quarter in 2011 with more than 2 billion hours of TV and movie viewing by its online viewers. This works out to an extremely impressive 23 million hours per day or 1 hour per day of on demand streaming per subscriber. With the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy staring in the face of its biggest competitor Blockbuster 2.0 , Netflix breathes easier as its subscriber money has started bringing in the profits since the second quarter.
Several other startups are planning to begin streaming video services in 2012. Wireless service MetroPCS has tied up with MCV Mobile content venture to bring digital live content on its Android mobile services. Hulu, Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft have already moved into the streaming video and internet TV and video business though none have reached the scalable level to make these businesses an individual profit centre dependant on subscriptions like Netflix.
Video, audio visual and Television content is increasingly becoming popular at the cost of print media. Though considered expensive and a complex delivery challenge that can be delivered effectively only where internet speeds are high the increasing popularity of the medium cannot be denied. Roku LT Streaming stick a USB drive has introduced a $49 power packed content package that provides equal content to any streaming video service with the added advantage of not being dependent on the internet or wireless speeds .
Google has spent $100 million recently for redesigning the You Tube site with a hope of tying up with enough content partners to be able to entice subscribers and challenge the Netflix supremacy. The challenge to creating and selling audio visual content on a large scale through the net on a 24×7 basis is an endless opportunity that is expected to see both consolidation and growth in 2012.
Apple TV which has tied up with Netflix as well as video major Vimeo besides WSJ Live for news and NBA, NHL and MLB TV for sports is also expected make a big splash this year. Apple Airplay makes these programs available on the Mac, iPod and iPhones along with thousands of movies in HD which has a sharing agreement with major movie majors across the world. Now Apple is supposedly to be considering a bid for English Premier League Football TV Telecast rights to coincide with its hotly rumored 42″ Apple TV set launch, that could be early this year. Both the rumors are unconfirmed by Apple.