That's a happy fact for Netfilx, Inc. On October 1, the online DVD rental service announced that it had increased its subscribership by 74% in the third fiscal quarter compared to the same period last year. The company ended the period with 1.29 million subscribers, a huge leap from the 742,000 at the end of third quarter in 2002. It was also a 13% increase from the 1.14 million subscribers registered at the end of the second quarter of this year.
The improvement was consistent with second quarter 2003 results, which were up 71% over 2002 marks, and up 9% compared to this year's first quarter. Only 4% of Netflix's customers are trying out the service on a nonpaying trial basis—the other 96% pay full fare.
The Los Gatos, CA–based company is one of the great success stories of the dot-com era—Amazon.com and eBay being the other two. Nationwide, Netflix owns 1.2% of the rental market, but has a 5.4% market penetration in its native San Francisco Bay area. The company plans to release a full financial statement October 15.