Netflix Having Great Q1, Hits 10 Million Subscribers


Netflix’s growth streak continues: The online DVD rental service says it passed the 10 million subscriber mark last night.

That means it’s added 600,000 net subscribers in less than half the quarter — a torrential pace. (It grew by 718,000 in Q4.)

And while the company probably got a relatively big boost in January from Christmas gift subscriptions, it’s on pace to easily beat its guidance of finishing Q1 with 10.1 to 10.4 million subscribers. (Netflix chose not to raise that guidance today, but that’s not a terrible move — it can always do that later, and now is a good time to be conservative.)

What’s driving Netflix’s growth? Besides offering a good value in a recession, we think consumers — especially younger, more tech-savvy types — are sampling Netflix’s free online movie streaming service.

The company said earlier this month that 1 million of its subscribers — more than 10% — had streamed a Netflix movie via Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360. And comments that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made on last month’s Q4 earnings call suggest that more than 20% of Netflix’s subscribers are streaming movies.