Netflix Overtakes Apple In Online Movie Business

2011 was a rough year for Netflix. One bright spot? The company surpassed Apple to become the leader in the U.S. online movie business, according to a new report from IHS Screen Digest out today.

Netflix’s revenue share of the U.S. online movie business jumped from 1% in 2010 to 44% in 2011 (the company grossed $992 million last year).

Apple, previously the market’s landslide leader, dropped from 60.8% to just 32.3% during the same time period. Though that may not look great for Apple on the surface, the study points out that Apple and Netflix are leading at opposite ends of the market. Though Netflix rules the stream-on-demand market, which is popular for older titles, Apple still claims 63% of the pay-per-view sector, which is largely dominated by new releases. Screen Digest predicts more of us will turn to streaming in 2012–to the tune of the whopping 3.4 billion movies it predicts we’ll pay to watch online this year.

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