Netflix streams 2 billion hours over 3 months

Netflix members watched more than two billion hours of movies and TV shows on the online streaming service last quarter.
Netflix's Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said members watched more than 2 billion hours of programming last quarter. (Enrique Marcarian/Reuters)

Netflix members watched more than two billion hours of content on the online streaming service last quarter.

"We were thrilled to deliver more than two billion hours of TV shows and movies across 45 countries in the fourth quarter," CEO Reed Hastings said in a release Wednesday.

Netflix's service, which sells for $8 a month in Canada, allows customers to view an unlimited number of the company's catalog of movies and television shows, which currently number in the thousands.

The eye-popping figure is a new benchmark for the California-based company. It means members watched 666 million hours of programming every month in October, November and December. That works out to more than 22 million hours per day, and an average of more than an hour a day for roughly  20 million Netflix members.

Earnings expected soon

The company is set to reveal its fourth quarter financials in a few weeks, but the viewership data offers a hint of what might be coming. Netflix's subscriber numbers peaked at 24.6 million in the middle of last year, before a series of missteps caused a slew of cancellations.

Last summer, Netflix unveiled a plan to split the DVD-by-mail business from the online business, and charge customers who used both services more on an aggregate level. Opposition to that plan contributed to 800,000 subscribers cancelling in the third quarter, prompting the company to scrap the plan.

It's believed Netflix still has 20 million members across the U.S., Canada and Latin America, but exactly how many remain is not yet known..