Study Finds That 50% of Consumers No Longer See Live TV as ‘Default’ Platform

/ Sep 16, 2013


Another day, another study that suggest streaming services will soon surpass traditional cable networks. According to a new study titled “Decoding the Default” by Hub Entertainment Research, services like Hulu and Netflix have put “default” entertainment services like satellite and traditional cable squarely on the chopping block

The study, which was conducted in July with the help of 1,010 participants who watch online television in some form, claims to reveal a significant shift towards streaming services becoming the new gold standard for entertainment.

It was found that among the 1,010 sampled consumers, half of them automatically turn to live TV for entertainment. While that makes up the largest segment of the surveyed consumers, the other half are not going to live TV as their default viewing choice. This means, of the test group, roughly 50% of participants no longer see live TV as the number one source for entertainment. This signals a new high for online streaming services like Hulu and Netflix.

The study found that among Netflix subscribers, 20% view it as their default TV-viewing option, while among Hulu Plus subscribers, 29% view it as their “input one.” However, according to the study, the majority of overall viewing time for online audiences was on Netflix at 16%, although only two-thirds of the sample group had subscriptions.

According to Jon Giegengack, a partner at Hub Entertainment Research, even though traditional, live TV is the largest default source, online platforms surpass cable in areas that matter most to advertisers such as marathon viewing, flexibility, and discovery. With this research, we must ask ourselves, are we just waiting for audiences who are simply comfortable with live TV to finally switch over to streaming platforms?

Live TV is still the king, sure, but what happens as these platforms try to convert people who log-in to catch up on TV shows to their own original programming?

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  • Amy Kan

    I think the conclusion here is a bit pre-mature. Vubiquity conducted a survey with of 1600 MPVD subscribers in December of 2012 with Frank N. Magid Associates. Specific to viewing of full length viewing of TV shows, we also found live linear viewing accounted
    for less than half of all viewing, but that the majority of the remainder was split between viewing on a DVR and VOD (through their operator.) Only 6% reported using an online source. Surprisingly, we also found that most “binge” viewing occurred ‘live’, again followed by DVR and On Demand. Granted the study you reference is 6-months more recent, however I still think
    it is too soon to sound the death-knell for more traditional TV-services.

  • tired of over the air

    I tried last night to watch a program on fox. I gave up, 5 minutes of program then 5 minutes of commercials.
    This went on through the whole program. I decided to wait and watch it on HULU or not at all. I gave up
    dish over a year ago and will never go back. Can’t afford to pay for the 499 channels I don’t watch.


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