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Nintendo Claims Nearly 1 Million Netflix Users On Wii
Nintendo Claims Nearly 1 Million Netflix Users On Wii
May 4, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

May 4, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
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Since Netflix launched on Wii in March, nearly one million users have "participated," says Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime.

Fils-Aime doesn't specify what qualifies as "participation" -- the Wii, like the PlayStation 3, requires a special disc in the drive to use the Netflix service, and Nintendo's figure could refer to consumers who've simply requested their free disc, or those actively streaming movies.

Netflix has around 14 million U.S. subscribers, and it recently said it's been boosting its user base significantly thanks in significant part to console owners. However, the Wii audience is expected to be the least-likely to use the service on their console.

Wii owners have a lower likelihood of connecting their console to the internet, and Netflix does not receive a dashboard presence on Wii. Nonetheless, the Wii's roughly 26 million install base still presents a significant opportunity for the video rental company.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter had estimated that in the year to come, each home console could add up to 400,000 subscribers for the Netflix service, ultimately equating to around 3 million new users from video game streaming altogether.


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E Zachary Knight
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"Wii owners have a lower likelihood of connecting their console to the internet"



Yes Wii owners have the least likely hood of connecting their console to the internet, but according to the Diffusion Groups study reported here by Gamasutra, that connection rate is 54%

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28058/Study_PS3_Has_Highest_Pe
rcentage_Of_Connected_Consoles.php



That means that of those 26 million Wii owners, 14.04 million are connected to the internet and able to stream Netflix movies. Is it really that hard to believe that 1 million of those have ordered the Netflix disc and used it at least once?



Nintendo may also be getting their information from two places as well. First they get disk order numbers from Netflix. Then they get information from the Nintendo channel. Those users who have opted in to share their game play sessions with Nintendo. Netflix usage is reported there as well.



"Netflix does not receive a dashboard presence on Wii"



As for this, does it matter? If someone wants to watch a Netflix movie, what is the difference of the service being on a disk vs on the dashboard? If they want to watch a movie they will use whatever they have to watch it.



If however, you are referring to user uptake of the service, yes that could change things. Current Netflix subscribers all got an email announcing the arrival of the Netflix disk complete with a direct link to order it. So if you are instead talking of people who do not subscribe to Netflix, but own a Wii, they may not get any prompt from the console that the service is available. So they are less aware.



Something else I would like to point out. If someone is ordering their Netflix disc that would mean that they are aware that their Wii can connect to the internet. If they are not aware at the time of ordering, they will quickly learn that it can. This could have the effect of increasing the internet connection rates.

John Gordon
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Heh, the article links to another article that has this great Pacter quote:



"We believe that the Xbox 360 helped Netflix add 800,000 customers in 2009, a figure that we had expected the PS3 and Wii to each replicate in 2010," Pachter says.



Well now we've seen that the Wii has 1 million subscribers in just one month. It looks like the popularity of Netflix on the Wii has been severly underestimated.

E Zachary Knight
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@John,



That quote is about NEW Netflix subscribers. This article is about total Netflix user on the Wii, whether those are new or existing.

John Gordon
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Ah, my mistake. Still I would expect a large chunk of that 1 million people to be new subscribers.

Adam Miller
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This isn't a significant oppurtunity for Netflix so much as it is for Nintendo. that is, Netflix is the gateway app that will get typical Wii owners online, finally.

E Zachary Knight
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@Adam,



It is mutually beneficial. Netflix subscribers get the disk and get their Wii connected to the internet exposing more Wii owners to the WiiWare store.



More Netflix subscribers start streaming video thus making Netflix a more valuable source for film studios to partner with.



Its a win win.


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