Netflix might have angered a few customers here and there, but that didn't keep the company from setting some numerical feats in 2011. According to a report from IHS iSuppli's Screen Digest, the company took 44 percent of all online movie revenue in the US last year — putting the service ahead of Apple, which reportedly accounted for 32.3 percent. How big a shift is it? IHS says Apple had 60.8 percent of the market revenue in 2010, and Netflix only a meager 0.5 percent.
Before you celebrate Netflix's victory over Cupertino, however, it's probably worth noting that Netflix didn't actually break out its streaming revenue back in 2010, despite company CEO Reed Hastings famously calling his firm "primarily a streaming company" in a Q3 2010 earnings report, so 0.5 percent seems a little low. According to NPD research, Netflix peaked at 61 percent of digital movie units last year, while Apple had just four percent. If both reports are true about 2011, though, we can probably conclude two things: Apple takes in a lot of money compared to the number of movies it sells, and Netflix is pretty important in the online video business, period.