Netflix has overhauled its interface for the living room. The update has apparently been in the works for more than a year and a half, and it looks reasonably nice. Users can expect the revamped UI to roll out to Smart TVs, Roku devices, game consoles, and some Blu-ray players starting today. Cue the promo video:
I've used several slick interfaces designed for the living room, so the new Netflix layout isn't exactly a revelation. I'm pretty blown away by the assertion that Netflix users spend one billion hours a month watching TV over the Internet, though. Wow.
Netflix is making money, too. According to the company's latest financial statements, it posted over $1 billion in revenue for each of the past three quarters. Since January, the company has raked in nearly $64 million in profit. Impressively, Netflix is turning a profit while funding quality content. Original series House of Cards has been well received by users, as has Orange is the New Black. Earlier this week, comic icon Marvel revealed that it will develop at least four exclusive series for the streaming service, as well. A Daredevil reboot will be among them.
Video streaming is a huge deal these days. According to the latest Internet usage numbers from Sandvine, Netflix and YouTube are responsible for over half of the downstream traffic on North American broadband networks. Netflix has a 31.6% slice of the action, and YouTube makes up 18.6%. Bloomberg points out that Netflix's share has actually declined slightly since last year, despite the company's success. YouTube gained a few percentage points, while Amazon and Hulu continue to languish well behind the two Internet video leaders. Interestingly, BitTorrent traffic—at least as a percentage of the total—is dwindling.