Netflix subscribers have watched 5 million movies and TV episodes on their PCs since the DVD-by-mail company launched its Watch Now service in January.
With more than 6 million subscribers, Netflix tallied an average of less than one view per subscriber for the six-month period. However, the company staggered the rollout of Watch Now, making the service available to additional groups of about 250,000 subscribers per week through June.
Netflix currently offers a library of 2,000 titles available for “instant watching” and promises to provide 5,000 by the end of the year. The company has said that it is spending $40 million in 2007 on Watch Now.
Among the most popular titles Netflix users have clicked on are NBC’s The Office, as well as films The Matrix, The Prince and Me, Super Size Me, The Sum of All Fears, Jackass: The Movie and Sherrybaby.
Hours available for instant watching vary based on a subscriber's monthly plan. The most popular Netflix plan -- $17.99 per month for three DVDs out at a time -- allows up 18 hours of online viewing.
Eventually, Netflix plans to bring videos directly to TV sets. The company recently hired Anthony Wood, founder of digital-video-recorder company Replay TV, as vice president of its Internet-TV group.