Apple’s “hobby” is less of a hobby these days, with in excess of one million sales the Apple TV is now accounting for more Netflix viewing hours than the iPad, Netflix announced this week.

That’s noteworthy because while Apple has sold millions of iPads it has only shifted a million Netflix-happy Apple TVs, and with a substantial slice of those sold outside of the US of A, you can bet your dollar this represents tacit proof that people are making active use of the Apple TV.

What’s next? There had been hopes Apple will find suitable streaming media partners in other markets, and we contine to await the evolution of iTunes services in the cloud, but until then the rest of the Apple TV-owning world looks to the Netflix rental model with interest.

From the Netflix release:

The devices with large installed bases – meaning Windows and Mac laptops, Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo Wii – are the most popular devices for watching instantly from Netflix. AppleTV has done very well for us, and in just four months has passed the also-growing iPad in Netflix viewing hours. The Roku player remains a strong performer. Our iPhone and Windows phone applications are very popular, and we’ll have support for several Android phones this year. While Google TV has not yet gone mainstream, the concept of Android and Chrome built into televisions and Blu-ray players is powerful; we’re confident that they will be very successful, and we are investing in our Google TV application. Blu-ray players and TVs with Internet connectivity are the big growth categories for us, as more and more providers are building in Wi-Fi across their product lines.

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