The Real Cost of Netflix Streaming is the Movie, Not the Bandwidth
According to its 10-K filing, Netflix spent $66 million in the second quarter 2010 to license streaming titles for its Watch Instantly service, compared with just $9 million that was spent in the prior-year period. (Hat tip to CNET) The acquisition of new and better content has helped drive its subscriber numbers up 42 percent over the past year, with 15 million subscribers at the end of the second quarter, compared with 10.6 million a year earlier. In addition, those subscribers are watching more streaming content than ever, with 61 percent using the service, compared to just 37 percent a year earlier.
But despite a huge increase in the amount of video streams it’s serving up through Watch Instantly, Netflix’s streaming costs haven’t increased proportionally. In the second quarter, the company said costs associated with delivery over third-party CDN networks only increased by $1 million versus the previous quarter. Netflix is benefiting from bandwidth costs continuing to fall exponentially as it grows its streaming business.