It was probably inevitable. *Netflix* is now planning to offer its streaming-video service, which has been a hit among consumers, as a stand-alone option. CFO Barry McCarthy told attendees at the Jefferies Internet and Media conference that the company was “likely to do that in the foreseeable future,” according to Reuters — though he made a point to note that the company was still committed to its rental-by-mail business.
Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) launched its streaming movie service in early 2007, though the complicated execution led to limited adoption; it unveiled unlimited streaming in early 2008, then brokered a slew of deals to allow streaming through devices like the Roku player, *TiVo* and the Xbox 360. The evolution of the streaming service has steadily attracted new users: Netflix said it topped the 10 million subscriber mark two weeks ago — fueled by a surge of more than 600,000 new subscriptions since the start of 2009; CEO Reed Hastings noted that streaming was “energizing” the company’s growth during the Q4 earnings call.
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