BTIG’s Rich Greenfield reached his conclusion after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings noted on Facebook today that his company streamed more than 4B hours of programming in Q1. The disclosure helped to lift Netflix shares 4.2%. The information is important because many investors wonder whether the streaming video company is spending too much on programming. But if streaming time is rising then it suggests “churn is continuing to fall — implying that the price/value of a Netflix subscription is increasing,” Greenfield says. According to the back of his envelope, U.S. viewers account for about 88% of all Netflix streaming. That means 73B minutes of the company’s streams went to domestic customers each month in the quarter. The analyst figures that Netflix had 28.1M subscribers here. Do some simple division, and it comes to 87 minutes per subscriber each day — up from his calculation last July of 79 minutes. At the new threshold, “Netflix is now likely the most watched cable network, essentially in-line with the Disney Channel,” Greenfield says.
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