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Analyst: Average U.S. Family Has 10 Netflix-enabled Devices

14 Jun, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix’s recent decision to increase the number of devices by which an individual subscriber can access streaming content underscores the service’s ubiquitous reach in consumer electronics.

Netflix recently upped the number of devices a subscriber can use to stream to 50 from five. And with Netflix streaming now directly accessible on more than 250 CE devices — the latest being Android smartphones — analyst Dan Rayburn believes the average U.S. family has 10 Netflix-enabled devices.

If Netflix hadn’t allowed individual subscribers more access points, a not-untypical member with an iPad, iPhone, iPod, video game console and connected Blu-ray player or connected HDTV would have risked a streaming cap.

That said, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in recent presentations has said the percentage of subs accessing rental streams on mobile phones is minute, compared with those accessing streaming on tablet computers and connected TVs.

Rayburn said Netflix’s quiet domination in the CE space —with remote controls from Best Buy’s in-house Dynex brand, Haier, Memorex, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba incorporating a specific red “Netflix” button enabling subs to directly link to streaming and their rental queues with a simple click — is remarkable considering its market lead over such home entertainment brands as Blockbuster, Amazon, Redbox and Apple.

Of the four, Redbox has yet to unveil a digital strategy, Apple is limited to Apple TV and related platforms, and Blockbuster On Demand — as usual — is playing catch-up in digital distribution. Amazon Prime, which is available on Roku, TiVo, Logitech and select Sony devices, has made significant strides in connected TVs, including new models from Vizio, Sony, LG, Samsung and Panasonic.

In numerous analyst calls, Hastings has made no secret he considers Amazon (and Hulu Plus) formidable adversaries in streaming going forward, which Rayburn said is good for the market.

“Clearly Netflix won't be the only game in town for streaming content, but they sure do have a huge head start in the number of Netflix enabled devices already deployed inside the home,” he wrote in a recent note.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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