By Ben Fritz and Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times
Like most fresh faces that arrive in Hollywood,Netflix wanted to be a movie star.
But now it’s learning what many in Tinseltown have known for decades: Movies are sexy, but the real money is in television.
Launched in 1997 with a goal of eliminating the drive to the video store, Netflix Inc. became a hit with consumers and helped push the movie rental chainBlockbuster into bankruptcy. By charging customers a small monthly fee for unlimited DVDs by mail, then expanding into Internet streaming in 2007, it amassed almost 25 million subscribers in the U.S. and in 2011 had revenue of $3.2 billion.
For most of that time, Netflix was all about flicks. More than 80% of the discs it shipped and virtually all of its streaming content when that service began consisted of movies.
Not anymore. More than 60% of the 2 billion-plus hours of video streamed by Netflix subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2011 originated on the small screen.