Study Finds Netflix Most Popular Option for Streaming TV Shows

/ Jan 21, 2015

online video terms to die

Now that viewers no longer have to live by TV networks’ schedules, we know they’re turning to video-on-demand and various digital platforms to watch their favorite programs. The results from the recent NATPE Content First and Consumer Electronics Association study show that viewers tend to prefer this viewing option. But where, exactly, are these people watching, and how are they finding content if it isn’t through a network’s lineup and advertisements?

Unsurprisingly, according to the NATPE/CEA study, the answer to that first question is Netflix…and YouTube, and some network websites, etc. Netflix ranks as the number one place where people stream full TV episodes, with 40% of survey respondents who stream shows saying they do so there. Meanwhile, 26% site YouTube as their TV-watching platform, while a quarter watch on network websites and 22% watch on sites that offer shows for free (supposedly what people find through the Putlocker portal). Nearly 20% of survey respondents noted VOD as their method of choice, while another 12% watch through service provider/network apps.

Netflix again proved its popularity in this study, as comedy-loving millennials largely turn to the streaming service to find funny content (57% go there before looking elsewhere). While young people seek out levity, people 40 through 60 prefer streaming the news, especially when it’s live. Overall, 77% of people in that age group prefer streaming live TV.

Streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube also influence what younger viewers watch. The “recommended for you” feature on such viewing platforms sways viewing decisions for over half of millennials surveyed, perhaps because they’re so accustomed to finding new content online (whereas older viewers are more likely to make up their minds about what to watch and then maybe turn to the web to procure it).

In spite of the various ways in which people discover new TV shows these days, the networks they already watch still hold sway. Over 70% of viewers noted that they find new shows from these networks. However, whether NATPE and CEA considered the likes of Netflix a network is uncertain.

NATPE and CEA’s survey was administered by E-Poll Market Research through an online survey that reached 1,639 people with high-speed internet access in the US between the ages of 13 and 64 in November 2014. Those surveyed had to watch a minimum of five hours of TV shows a week.

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