Netflix Opens the Kimono

At the IP&TV World Forum in London last week, the VP of Business Development for Netflix, Bill Holmes, revealed some inside information about his company and its plans. You can watch his entire keynote speech at this link — which I recommend — but here are some highlights.

Perhaps the most intriguing fact of his presentation is that he gave numbers. So many executive keynote addresses don’t dip much below the surface of mission statements and platitudes. One of the hard numbers he provided is that the average Netflix subscriber to the streaming service watches about 27 hours of online content a month. This means that in homes that watch streaming content from Netflix, it probably accounts for more viewing time than any of the major broadcast networks. And when you figure that a lot of people have ESPN Sports Center on whenever they are home, that’s a pretty impressive statement.

Another interesting point is that 70% of Netflix streaming subscribers came from word-of-mouth recommendations. (Maybe this will encourage Netflix to cut down on all their obnoxious pop-up ads on so many Web sites.) I’m not at all surprised by this. I have had dozens of conversations with friends and family who are either curious or misinformed about Netflix streaming. They are often amazed to learn that all it takes is a network media player that costs less than $100 to get your HDTV hooked up to the Internet and Netflix. And with 90% of subscribers happy with the service, it is no surprise that word of mouth is so successful for Netflix.