Netflix is by far the most popular competitor in the U.S. home digital streaming and downloadable video market, according to a new study by the NPD Group (News - Alert).
Netflix's share of digital movie units – which were either downloaded or streamed – was at 61 percent between January and February 2011, NPD reports.
Comcast (News - Alert) came in at second place with 8 percent. A three-way tie is found for third place, with 4 percent. It was shared among DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Apple (News - Alert).
In addition, digital video now comprises one quarter of all home video volume, NPD said in a press release.
"Sales of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs still drive most home-video revenue, but VOD and other digital options are now beginning to make inroads with consumers," Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD, said in the press release. "Overwhelmingly, digital movie buyers do not believe physical discs are out of fashion, but their digital transactions were motivated by the immediate access and ease of acquisition provided by streaming and downloading digital video files."
In its study, NPD said that consumers note that electronic sell-through (EST) services like iTunes have the most "current releases available," and Netflix streaming offers the best "overall shopping experience" and "value for price paid.”
Netflix has over 20 million members in the United States and Canada, according to information posted on the company’s website.
Netflix charges $7.99 a month to watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed over the Internet to PCs, Macs and TVs.
Over 200 devices that stream from Netflix are available in the United States and a growing number are available in Canada.
In other Netflix news, TMCnet reports that the company is in talks to create an original TV series.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix is in negotiations to develop a TV series based on the British miniseries "House of Cards," TMCnet adds.Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Janice McDuffee