How Netflix Will Be the Next TV Network

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Netflix (NFLX) is the king of online streaming video, with its 35 million and growing domestic subscribers, and seemingly ubiquitous mind-share in the space. However, as content gets more expensive, and as more consumers turn to wanting content when they want it, Netflix is going to head to head with larger cable networks -- and in some cases winning.

Speaking at the Streaming Media East conference in New York, Beth Clearfield, senior vice president of Digital Distribution & Business Development at BBC Worldwide Americas, noted both Netflix and Hulu are already rivaling small and large cable networks as consumers eyeballs turn to streaming media for content, and less to traditional methods, including standard television.

"Netflix is growing faster than the overall steaming market," BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield said during the same panel discussion as Clearfield, noting that video on-demand services from the content creators themselves, including companies like 21st Century Fox (FOXA), are subpar to those from Netflix, Hulu and other streaming video on-demand services.

Research firm Sandvine noted Netflix accounted for 34.2% of downstream traffic during peak traffic time, up from 31.6% in the second half of of 2013. The Sandvine report the increased traffic was being driven by "the availability of higher bitrate Super HD content to all subscribers, while in our 2H 2013 report it was only available to subscribers on networks where Netflix's OpenConnect CDN appliance had been installed."

Netflix has become more known for its original series, such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, as the company transitions into becoming a content creator, as opposed to a content distributor. Right now, content companies such as CBS (CBS), Fox, Walt Disney (DIS) and others rely on Netflix for additional revenue for licensing their content.

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