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Netflix Tops Blockbuster in Domestic Rental Revenue for the First Time

25 Feb, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Despite rock star status on Wall Street, sustained profitability and more than 11 million subscribers, Netflix had never surpassed Blockbuster in domestic rental revenue — until now.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based online DVD rental pioneer generated more than $444 million in fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31) revenue, which topped Blockbuster’s fourth-quarter (ended Jan. 3) movie-rental revenue of nearly $400 million.

Dallas-based Blockbuster generated another $54 million and $132 million, respectively, in domestic video game and “previously rented product” (PRP) rentals, according to a regulatory filing.

Netflix does not rent video games.

Speaking Feb. 25 at an investor event in San Francisco, Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy wouldn’t attribute the milestone to ongoing store closures at Blockbuster and other video stores.

“Clearly there has been a big ground shift since we launched the subscription model in 2002,” McCarthy said. “And the growth has hurt them, but by how much exactly we’ve benefited from store closings is very hard to say.”

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