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The shift means the number of DVDs the Netflix originally mails out annually probably peaked last year, CEO Reed Hastings said in a Wednesday interview. Just last year, Netflix had predicted its DVD shipments would peak in 2012.

As Netflix has prospered, it has turned into a bigger threat to cable TV services, particularly premium channels such as HBO and Showtime. HBO has steadfastly refused to sell its streaming rights to Netflix and Showtime isn’t making as much material available as it once did.

Netflix’s streaming library includes a lot of recent movies from the Starz channel as part of a licensing deal signed in October 2008, but analysts are worried the company won’t be able to get the renewal rights. Netflix said Wednesday the Starz deal expires early next year, and told investors it didn’t plan to discuss the negotiations any further.

For all of 2010, Netflix earned $161 million, or $2.96 per share, on revenue of $2.16 billion. That compared with net income of $116 million, or $1.98 per share, on revenue of $1.67 billion in 2009.