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Netflix: More than half of subscribers tap streaming video

The growth in viewing of streamed movies and TV shows highlights the company's first-quarter earnings, in which revenue was up 25 percent year over year.

Netflix's transition from a DVD distributor to a streaming content provider hit a notable milestone in the first quarter--55 percent of its nearly 14 million subscribers are now watching movies and TV via the Internet.

To put that streaming media figure into perspective, Netflix said that in the fourth quarter 48 percent of its subscribers watched more than 15 minutes of content. A year ago, 36 percent of subscribers watched streaming movies or TV episodes.

The company delivered the typically strong quarter as it finished the three months ended March 31 with 13,967,000 total subscribers, up 35 percent from a year ago. Netflix reported first-quarter earnings of $32.3 million, or 59 cents a share, on revenue of $493.7 million, up 25 percent from a year ago. Earnings were 5 cents a share better than Wall Street targets. Revenue was in line with estimates.

Read more of "Netflix: 55 percent of subscribers now streaming movies" at ZDNet's Between the Lines.