Netflix Streams 1.5 Billion Minutes Worth Of Videos To The Xbox 360

In a joint press release issued early this morning, Microsoft and Netflix announced that to date, Netflix members have streamed 1.5 billion minutes worth of videos to the Xbox 360 console. Considering the Netflix streaming service has only been available to the Xbox 360 console for the past three months, I think anyone would view that as a huge number with great success early on. To put that number into perspective as it pertains to bits delivered, since we know the technical details on how Netflix encodes videos, since November, content delivery companies Limelight Networks and Level 3 combined have delivered nearly 25 million GB of data. That's some serious traffic.

While the 1.5 billion minutes is huge, it's still very small when compared to the total minutes of content they ship via their DVD business. If we use the numbers Netflix has on their website, they ship around 730 million DVDs a year. If we use an average of 120 minutes per DVD, Netflix ships roughly 88 billion minutes of video in the mail, if I did my math right. So the streaming service is still very small in the overall picture but clearly has some really nice traction in only three months time.

The release also stated that Netflix's application for the Xbox 360 has been downloaded and activated by one million Xbox Live Gold Members but keep in mind that does not mean one million unique consoles since every Xbox Live account can contain multiple profiles or members. UPDATED: Microsoft's PR folks responded to my question on the one million number and said that the number of multiple gold account houses (on a single console versus two), where both accounts also have a Netflix subscription, has to be rare. So they wouldn't expect the correlative number of consoles to be anything less than around 95-98 percent of 1 million, if not higher.

These viewing numbers clearly highlight that the Xbox 360 console is by far the most important broadband connected device for the success of Netflix's streaming service. That really comes as no surprise considering that to date, Microsoft has sold nearly 14 million Xbox 360 consoles in the U.S., which is far more than the Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray players and broadband enabled TVs combined.

  • Matthieu

    88 billion minutes of video via mail for one year, so 22 billion in the last three months (since Netflix launched its streaming service via Xbox). Isn’t it?
    Thanks for all the news and analysis, you share with us, mister Rayburn.
    PS: Excuse my poor english. 🙂

  • Hi Matthieu, the numbers are based on Netflix saying they ship an average of two million movies per day. Two million movies times the number of days in the year times 120 minutes. That’s how I came up with the number.

  • Matthieu is right though, we have to assume that they’re shipping 22 billion minutes via DVD every three months to get an apples to apples comparison. Back of the envelope math would indicate that 6.8% of Netflix movie watching is now being consumed through the Xbox service. Considering that Netflix only has about a 10th of the titles on Watch Now and that you have to pay extra for an Xbox live subscription, I’d say that this is pretty impressive for an initial launch. Hard to say what the TiVo, Roku and Blu-Ray minutes are like, but it wouldn’t surprise me if 15 – 20%% of all Netflix content is consumed via streaming 12 – 18 months from now.

  • That’s really cool, It means now we have a huge database for movies on Netflix.

  • Love Netflix! I don’t use it on Xbox though…

  • I love Netflix. But I use zune alot too.

  • SMTS

    Netflix 360 is a great stuff. Watching Friday Night Lights now in HD. I’m not at all a sports fan. But that show is brilliant.

  • Wind

    I love Netflix. My son gave me his XBox just so I can have Netflix!

  • PE

    Netflix is awesome, especially on the Xbox, it makes it easy and fast to download a movie and watch right away. Great information.