Netflix Becoming Largest Subscription Entertainment Company

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Chances are, you’re paying for both cable and Netflix but recent data suggests that more people are doing the latter than the former. Per the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix’s paid subscriber base should surpass 23 million, besting the 22.8 million of leading cable provider Comcast. Sirius XM’s also up there with 20 million subscribers loyal to its satellite radio service.

Even if you’re not a hardcore gadgethead, it’s been hard to ignore the insane proliferation of Netflix’s streaming partnerships. Research firm NPD asserts that 61% of all movies watched online happen via Netflix on 250 devices, including every current video game console.

Coincidentally, it’s paid-for exclusivity–a favorite business practice of gaming console manufacturers–that will power Netflix’s future momentum. It’s shelled out big (but undisclosed) bucks for sole streaming rights on the hit Mad Men and backcatalog draws like the entire Star Trek catalogue. But more and more, production entities and networks are holding on to streaming rights, often in a bid to create their own online content destinations and revenue streams. HBO Go plans to exclusively offer the pay channel’s shows when the app launches in a few weeks, but will be locked to those who already pony up for the broadcasts. Still, no matter what fragmentation awaits wth regard to what content you get in what place, it’s impressive to see how Netflix’s roots as a simple rental-by-mail operation gave way to a rapid embrace of digital distribution which has since re-invented its business.