Leichtman Research Group notes that 47 percent of U.S. households currently subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or a combination of these services, while 49 percent have at least one Internet-connected TV (up from 24 percent four years ago). Interestingly, as paid streaming services become more accessible, consumers still prefer watching video for free. According to nScreenMedia, YouTube accounted for 48 percent of time people spent watching online video in March.
“The survey by nScreenMedia covered 1,000 people with broadband connections either through the home or a smartphone. Of those who say they watched video online, some 92 percent said they spent at least some time on YouTube,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
“Netflix followed with 52 percent, while the combined Hulu services had 35 percent. Some 26 percent said they spent time on Amazon Prime’s service, even though the amount of time spent on Amazon paled in comparison to YouTube and others. That suggests people browse YouTube and Netflix, while heading to Amazon for more specific content.”
The combination of Internet-connected TVs and online video services continues to impact viewing habits.
“Forty-nine percent of all Netflix subscribers watch online video programming on a connected device every week, compared to only eight percent of viewers who don’t subscribe to Netflix,” notes GigaOM regarding the Leichtman Research findings. “And 78 percent of all Netflix subscribers watch their videos on a TV.”
While Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has repeatedly stated his service is complementary to traditional pay TV, the numbers suggest a shift.
“In 2010, 88 percent of Netflix subscribers also had pay TV. Fast forward to 2014, and that number is down to 80 percent,” explains GigaOM. “At the same time, the number of cord cutters who also subscribe to Netflix is rising, from 16 percent in 2010 to 48 percent in 2014.”
According to a recent CEA study, 45 percent of U.S. households now watch Internet content on their television sets, a significant jump over last year. While the CEA notes that merely five million households rely solely on Internet TV today, 10 percent indicated that they are “likely” to cut the cord by canceling their pay TV service in the next 12 months.
“Altogether, a total of 17 million TV households already don’t subscribe to traditional pay TV, but instead rely on antennas, the Internet or a combination of both for TV programming,” GigaOM adds.