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October 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Netflix, the online DVD renter said on Wednesday that it is growing faster than even it had anticipated and now expects to have 19.7 million subscribers signed up by the end of the year, up from its previous forecast of 17.7 million to 18.5 million, making it a serious rival of cable TV. In an SEC filing, the company said that it had earned $38 million in its third quarter, up a whopping 26 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Revenue was up 31 percent to $553.2 million. In a statement, Netflix chief Reed Hastings attributed the growth to “the strength of our streaming offering” — the ability of subscribers to view some of its catalog titles online instantly instead of having to wait for them to be delivered by mail. “In fact,” he added, “by every measure, we are now primarily a streaming company that also offers DVD-by-mail.” Analysts pointed out, however, that except for the relatively fresh content Netflix acquired from its $1-billion deal with Epix, most of the movie titles offered by its streaming service are older, “catalog” features, and they questioned whether Netflix can continue to make such expensive deals for new product while keeping its subscriber fees at the current level.