Online streaming video and movie rental service Netflix now has 22.8 million subscribers in the U.S., which is as many as leading cable provider Comcast.
Illustrating technology’s growing impact on the TV and film business, the company’s subscriber base, which tops 23.6 million worldwide, continues to grow even as Comcast’s audience declines.
More than 3.3 million subscribers were added in the first quarter of 2011 alone, a 94 percent increase over the same period in 2010. As reported earlier, the top Internet video subscription service further plans to expand into original video programming and exclusive TV syndication.
As a sign of digital and streaming online video’s ballooning popularity, the news points to the increasing threat Internet services pose to the cable industry. Within a matter of weeks, Netflix may surpass Comcast to become the largest provider of subscription-based video entertainment in the United States.