Netflix has become the market leader in digital movie and television, pushing Apple into second place, according to a new report from IHS. The report forecasts subscriptions are where the true opportunity lies, however.

Netflix accounted for 45 percent of U.S. consumer online movie dollars in 2011, a leap from 1 percent in 2010, while Apple’s dropped to 32.3 percent from the previous year’s 60.8 percent.

The overall outlook for individual transactions doesn’t look very promising, despite that being the option that’s most profitable to the studios, IHS reported. It said that part of the market was worth $236 million, up 2.4 percent over the previous year.

IHS has a much more optimistic forecast for the online movie business in general. Counting rentals and subscriptions in addition to purchases, the sector more than doubled in 2011 to reach $992 million and is expected to double this year as well, according to Dan Cryan, research director for digital media at IHS.

“2011 marked a sea change in the online movies business that saw the balance of consumer spending shift from a DVD-like transactional model to more TV-like subscription approach,” he said.

Related links:

HIS Screen Digest – IHS Screen Digest Broadband Media Market Insight Report

Bloomberg – Netflix Passed Apple in Internet-Movie Revenue in 2011

PaidContent – Report: Netflix beats Apple as No. 1 online movie supplier

CNN Money – Netflix tops Apple in online video sales




  1. Subscription services make more sense financially than buying on demand movies, but if most people are like me, instant gratification is better, and I like having access to both with my Hopper DVR, from Dish. I have the luxury of a low cost standard, high definition, or 3D individual new release movie rental or unlimited streaming with my Blockbuster @Home subscription on my Hopper. That kind of convenience is what will push those total revenue numbers higher, and consequently put Blockbuster and where I work, Dish, on that list next year, in my opinion.

    • The study was only interested in market share, as a measure of how the viewing public preferred to get their video entertainment.

      If you’re interested in earnings, DMW has a useful Netflix stock market tracker here:

      And here’s a summary from Seeking Alpha –

      P/E: 23.68 Forward P/E: 32.39 Industry P/E: 42.75
      P/S: 1.19 Price/Book: 6.02 EV/EBITDA: 10.67
      Market Cap: $3.88B Avg. Daily Volume: 5,734,900 52 Week Range: $62.37 – $304.79