Streaming cost: $8 a month No, Netflix didn't make any friends when it split its DVD and streaming services and doubled the price of the whole package. It didn't make many folks happy when it allowed content partners such as Time Warner ( TWX) and Sony ( SNE) to withhold "new" releases for months at a time just to build its streaming library. It's still not making investors happy by inking $300 million-a-year deals such as the one it made with Disney and adding to its more than $5 billion in content-related debt. Guess what? The customers don't care. Netflix's streaming audience has grown from 21.7 million in 2011 to 27.1 million last year. Of its 200 most popular movies and TV shows, 113 aren't on other streaming services. The most any other competitor has is 73.
Right now, Netflix is streaming the Oscar-nominated documentaries How To Survive A Plague, 5 Broken Cameras and The Invisible War. It's not certain how long Netflix can keep streaming prices this low or if exclusivity deals with Time Warner and Disney will pay dividends in the near future, but having the ability to stream a giant catalog of films to dozens of devices just about anywhere has helped Netflix weather a tough two years.