Customer Stream Flows Back Toward Netflix

After ditching Netflix en masse in the third quarter, customers began crawling back to the service at the end of the year.

Engadget relays Netflix’s fourth quarter earnings report, which revealed the company added 220,000 streaming subscribers, upping its total to 21.67 million. Its total number of subscribers was 24.4 million, up from 23.79 million at the end of the third quarter but still below the 24.59 million it had six months ago. Customers continue to drift more toward the streaming option than the DVD rental plan.

Also, Netflix has shelved its plans to offer video games, opting to stick with the movie-renting thing it knows how to do fairly well.

Netflix Q4 results: 220k new streaming-only customers, beats earnings estimates (Update: no game rentals coming) [Engadget]


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  1. Cat says:

    I came back. Actually, I never left, I just put my account on hold twice.

    Then I got a Roku.

    • DariusC says:

      Why pay for content? Megavid… oh yeah.. Nevermind…. -_-

      • Scuba Steve says:

        I used to download stuff a lot.. but Comcast has gotten better at sending me “Cease and Desist” emails every few days, so I’ve got to lay low for a few months.

        • silenuswise says:

          For downloading from a cyberlocker? Or, more likely, for torrenting? I’d be rather surprised if it were the former.

    • DJ Charlie says:

      But the cat came back, he couldn’t stay no long-er,
      Yes the cat came back the very next day,
      the cat came back—thought he were a goner,
      But the cat came back for it wouldn’t stay away.

  2. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    All right, my ducklings, I think we’ve seen this Netflix Dog picture like five hundred times now (I am prone to hyperbole, but it does come up pretty often).

    My challenge: For all of you photography-happy folks out there who contribute to the photophool: Take more Netflix-related-pics!

  3. dolemite says:

    Damn, I was looking forward to the video game rentals. From the reviews I read online, Game Fly is abysmal.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      I just cancelled Gamefly, like two days ago. Getting the games I want is nearly impossible–and if I empty out my queue except the game I absolutely want next? They’ll send me whatever.

      I wanted to try the Uncharted games, but getting them in the correct order was too much hassle so after an initial attempt, I went “fuggit.”

      It’s a good service for the first few months, it seems that’s the courtship phase where they try to demonstrate how awesome they are. But in the long run? Meh.

      • TrustAvidity says:

        I agree. Getting what you want is too difficult. They’re always out of everything brand new (naturally), at least when I tried it, and for the games they had in stock I’d be better off purchasing on sale or pre-owned. I’d be paying about the same as for GameFly except I’d get to keep the games. The biggest benefit I feel of a service like that would be able to play all the brand new full priced games without having to pay for each one but without availability of those titles it’s rather pointless in my eyes.

        • hoi-polloi says:

          As much as I like the idea of Gamefly, it’s this sort of feedback that has always held me back. Between the assumption that new titles will get snatched up instantly, my limited gaming time, and the relatively inexpensive cost of older titles, I don’t see the benefit for another subscription service.

          On top of that, I’ve become something of a console packrat. I’ve become the keeper of old family systems like the 2600 and Genesis, and I have my old X-Box and PS2. I still somewhat regret giving away my Playstation. If I’m going to keep old systems, I need old games to play on them.

    • RogerX says:

      I had no problem with GameFly, but it takes a while to play games vs. watch a movie, so if you take 10 days to play a game, you might get 3-4 games in a month with a 2-game plan. Pricier than Netflix.

    • amuro98 says:

      When I tried Gamefly 5 years ago, it was pretty good. I got the games reasonably fast, although 1 got mysteriously misdirected for a bit when I returned it.

      It’s a good service but doesn’t fit in with my style of gameplay since I tend to only play games to completion so I’m only playing 1 or 2 games at a time.

      If you tend to play games for a short while (few days, maybe a week) or want to sample a bunch of games, then Gamefly may be for you.

  4. scoutermac says:

    Considering what Netflix charges I was able to order Dish Network for about the same price. Small package yes but it has what I want.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      How much is Dish Network?

      • scoutermac says:

        I am paying $28/month for Dish America which includes HD and a DVR. I guess that is more than netflix but there are shows I cannot get on netflix that I can get on dish network for that price.

        • LiveToEat says:

          Is that an introductory offer?

          • Bunnies Attack! says:

            Thats most definitely an intro offer. I’m ditching Dish Network next week to go to Roku + hulu + prime + netflix.

        • little stripes says:

          How is $20 more anywhere near “about the same price” especially when you consider that’s an intro price? Seriously? I mean it’s fine if you prefer Dish, but it’s nowhere near the same price, in about a year I’m sure it’ll double. So yeah, not “about the same price.” Not even close.

  5. springboks says:

    Well we’re hardly going to Blockbuster. I’m sure Barnes and Noble book sales are up since they’ve now cannibalized what used to be Borders market share.

  6. BurtReynolds says:

    Probably because people still realize it is fairly inexpensive for what you get. I wasn’t happy about the price increase, but I still knew it was a good deal compared to cable.

  7. quirkyrachel says:

    Huh, I just ditched them this past Saturday. Their streaming selection stank.

    • scoutermac says:

      Everytime I decided to sit down and watch something on their streaming service I would spend 20 to 30 minutes looking and never finding anything to watch.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      I think it depends on what you want. I have a five-year-old, so I’d keep Netflix streaming just for the things he watches. It’s fun to sit down with him to watch Spider-Man episodes I remember from my childhood. Lately, my wife and I have been watching shows we’ve missed. Their New Releases listing is comical, and not in a good way. For the rare movie you want to watch there are several duds.

  8. elangomatt says:

    I haven’t gone back to Netflix yet, but I am pretty close. I will probably do the disc only plan though since I am using Amazon Prime streaming a lot these days.

  9. Rebecca K-S says:

    I thought we’d drop it, but we never did. Once school started back up and it became clear we’d never watch DVDs in a timely manner, we switched over to streaming. I don’t use it as much as I’d like, though, ’cause frankly, I’m kind of scared of the AT&T data cap.

  10. brinks says:

    Some of us (um…I mean…THEM) went back after the demise of Megaupload.

  11. yellowdog says:

    We dropped the disc by mail service but kept streaming. We’ve settled into a routine now – Netflix to stream TV shows and certain movies, the local Blockbuster Express machine for new releases when we feel like it (always with a $1 off code), and the local library when we’re in the mood for something older. I do wish Netflix would expand their streaming offerings, but hey.

    • Lisse24 says:

      As Netflix continues to demonstrate that streaming video is the wave of the future, Companies will either cave and offer more content to Netflix, or something better will come along.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      Swap Redbox for Blockbuster and you pretty much describe what we’re doing. I find with the limited number of DVDs we watch, Redbox is the cheaper option for discs. In my trips to the library, I keep forgetting to check out their DVD collection. I should really just request movies online, since the library is on the way home and they’ll email when materials are ready for pickup.

  12. Rockfish says:

    I cancelled Netflix due to their doubling of fees. I’ll not be back … I’ve discovered XBMC.

    I’m now considering cancelling DirecTV also, due to their announced rate hike in February/

  13. OMG_BECKY says:

    I’m about to drop Netflix. Has anyone else noticed all their new streaming content lately has been Bollywood flicks? WTF?

    • Lisse24 says:

      This is because the media companies are trying to strangle Netflix out of business so that we all go back to the crappy cable model that got them huge salaries and bonuses and charged us exorbitant monthly rates for content we didn’t want.
      The only way to combat this is to make it clear that No, we are /not/ going to pay for cable anymore, so you’d better come up with a new business plan.

  14. bobomb says:

    I’ll say it again: Netflix is still one of the best deals out there. I understand people were a bit miffed after basically a doubling in price, but still. Hell I hardly even bittorrent anything anymore.

  15. roshambo says:

    It would make sense that they would add customers. They had steadily grown for years. The people that were going to leave over the price hike would all be gone now. They are still advertising their services so of course they will go back to adding customers over time. These are likely people new to their service. I would be surprised that if moving forward they don’t continue to add new customers and grow once again.

  16. aleck says:

    That’s because Netflix knows better what customer want than the customers themselves. I still think it is a smart move to separate DVDs from streaming and ditch DVD rental later.

  17. sponica says:

    i wonder what I am….I’ve had that account suspended for 6 months or something?

    I’m not returning til Arrested Development goes to Netflix

  18. Swins says:

    Look we all know this is accounts on hold and the new bundled free monthly accounts that come with xbox live and a whole host of other platforms.

  19. Cosmo_Kramer says:

    lol @ all the idiots who thought Reed Hastings screwed up the company. They have 1% fewer customers than they had before, and the ones they have are substantially more profitable than before.

    The stock dropped because it was hugely overvalued before. A bunch of idiots got burned because they didn’t recognize that, but the company is fine.

  20. little stripes says:

    It’s interesting to me that people seem to blame Netflix for not having certain shows/movies to stream, when it is the Hollywood execs that are trying to keep Netflix from getting those shows.

  21. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I just got a roku LT and YES I’m keeping Netflix. And keeping the DVDs, since they still have a large number of movies and shows that aren’t on streaming. And because my roku doesn’t want to log into my clearly well-functioning wireless. >:(

  22. kent909 says:

    Maybe yes, maybe no. The article does not offer data on how many new customers Netflix gets in a month. At the end of the year I am sure that many people received Netflix as a Xmas gift. So maybe it is not all those who left, coming back.

  23. Scamazon says:

    See me after all those free 30 day come back to us offers they have been pushing expire. Their streaming selection still sucks and everything good is on their more expensive DVD service. If I am going to stream a selection of old movies I might as well get free two day shipping with it. I love my Amazon Prime service!

    • little stripes says:

      Amazon has like … the worst selection ever. They don’t even COMPARE to Netflix with their selection.

  24. CyberSkull says:

    Aw, I was looking forward to the video game service!

  25. deniseb says:

    I think Netflix is a still a great deal, which is why I wasn’t angry about the price increase.