Analyst projects 40 million Netflix streaming subscribers by late 2015

Sep 19, 2013 by Dawn C. Chmielewski

A prominent media analyst projects that Netflix will exceed 40 million streaming subscribers by the end of 2015, thanks to its low monthly price and the proliferation of Internet-connected devices.

Netflix currently has about 30 million people in the United States who subscribe to its Internet service for on-demand access to TV shows and movies. BTIG media analyst Richard Greenfield wrote that he can "see no reason why" the service cannot surpass the 40 million streaming subscribers mark in 2015.

Greenfield wrote that a number of factors will contribute to subscriber growth.

Netflix's monthly fee of $7.99 is roughly half what cable and satellite subscribers pay for the premium TV channel HBO - and requires nothing beyond a high-speed Internet connection. The growing popularity of personal media devices such as tablets (which are expected to exceed PC shipments this year), and the increasing number of Internet-connected televisions, also will spur demand, he wrote.

Netflix's diverse content offerings, which include an array of family content from Walt Disney Co. and DreamWorks Animation, together with high-quality original series such as its prison comedy "Orange Is the New Black" and the political drama "House of Cards," contribute to its appeal.

The projection comes as the budding Internet TV service collected two Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sunday for "House of Cards," one for outstanding casting for a drama series and the other for outstanding cinematography.

"We are so proud that both casting and cinematography were recognized with these historic Emmy wins for 'House of Cards' and Netflix," Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

The series also has been nominated for outstanding prime time drama, along with stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Actor Jason Bateman also received a best actor nod for reprising his role as Michael Bluth in "Arrested Development," the former Fox network sitcom that returned for a fourth season on Netflix.

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