Netflix's monthly streaming tops 1B hours

In this Oct. 10, 2011 file photo, the exterior of Netflix headquarters is seen in Los Gatos, Calif. Netflix subscribers watched more than 1 billion hours of online video last month, a significant milestone that reflects changes in people's viewing habits in the era of mobile devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Paul Sakuma

SAN FRANCISCO - Netflix says its subscribers watched more than 1 billion hours of online video last month as the advent of high-speed Internet connections and high-powered mobile devices change people's viewing patterns.

The milestone announced Tuesday is the latest sign that the Internet video service may be starting to reduce the amount of time its 26.5 million streaming subscribers spend watching advertising-supported entertainment bundled in more expensive cable-television packages. Netflix Inc. sells the service for $8 per month.

The rising usage of Netflix also indicates that the company's recent efforts to expand its Internet video library are paying off.

The 1 billion hours of collective viewing during June works out to a monthly average of 38 hours per streaming subscriber. That's up from an estimated 28 hours per customer in December.