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Google's New Frontier: The Living Room

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Taking a cue from Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) and Google (GOOG), more and more companies are targeting the living room. And the firms that are doing the best at it will profit heavily.

Earlier this year, Netflix announced in its fourth-quarter earnings report (which included a $30.9 million profit) that it now ships DVDs to 12 million customers around the U.S. It's certainly an impressive number. But it becomes an enticing figure for investors when one realizes that out of those 12 million people, 48% of them streamed at least 15 minutes of video off the company's video-streaming service. A year prior, just 28% of users were streaming videos from Netflix.

Google TV
Google invades the living room with Google TV.

Netflix's growth can be attributed to the amount of devices it has brought streaming service to, including Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360, Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 3, and the Nintendo Wii. It's also available on select Blu-ray players and a set-top box from Roku, among many others.

Netflix isn't alone in the streaming space. Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) currently offers its Video OnDemand streaming technology on some devices, including the TiVo (TIVO). Embattled Blockbuster (BBI), which reported a staggering $65 million loss in its first quarter, is also getting in on the streaming market, but the company isn't performing nearly as well as Netflix in the space.

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There's also the influence that cable boxes from Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Comcast (CCW) are having on the streaming market. By flipping to a channel and hitting a few buttons, consumers can now easily watch a movie or television show from their cable boxes. It's becoming such a boon for cable companies and there's now a slew of OnDemand channels featuring content ranging from movies to television shows to music.

Regardless of the method, streaming's growth underscores something that every prudent investor simply can't miss: Firms moving strategically into the living room will profit heavily.

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