Published July 14th, 2017
Netflix is continuing to dominate streaming services in the U.S., not only in terms of penetration in cord cutters’ homes, as reported in April, but also in time spent watching. According to data from comScore, cord cutters are watching more Netflix each month than YouTube, Hulu and Amazon Video combined. But Hulu users are more engaged with the service on a daily basis, the study indicates.
The data from comScore was cited by MarketingCharts in its own report released this morning, and follows on earlier findings that the user base for subscription video services has now topped the cable TV audience, indicating a shift in how people in the U.S. are today watching television.
Netflix in April accounted for 40 percent of over-the-top viewing hours, compared with 18 percent for YouTube, 14 percent for Hulu, and 7 percent for Amazon Video. It also has the most monthly viewing days per household at 12.3 days.
But when you look at viewing behavior on a day-by-day basis, Hulu is far ahead of the pack.
On average, U.S. cord cutters are watching 2.9 hours of Hulu per day, which is ahead of Netflix (2.2 hours), YouTube (2.1 hours), and Amazon Video (2 hours).
Though MarketingCharts’ report didn’t delve deeply into why that’s the case, the primary reason is simply due to the fact that Netflix has higher penetration in the U.S.
However, the new figures may point to key differences in how consumers watch the different streaming services, too.
Netflix, for example, likely encourages more binge watching sessions, because of how it drops entire seasons of shows at once – like the recent release of Season 5 of “Orange is the New Black,” where a single event – a prison riot – is told across 13 episodes. The entire season feels like one, long story, not a dozen or so separate ones.
Meanwhile, Hulu’s partnerships enable streaming access to network and cable TV programming, which in turn has people tuning into its service on a more regular basis to see if new episodes of their favorite shows are available.
Or, in other words, Hulu is taking the place of traditional TV in the cord-cutting era, while Netflix has become associated with an entirely different style of viewing.
In fact, Netflix has been credited with the invention of this new storytelling “art form” – something that sits in between being a TV show but isn’t quite a film, either. Storytellers have adapted their content to cater to binge watchers, too, by telling these longer stories, and sometimes even crafting entire first seasons that function as the “pilot,” instead of just the first episode.
Plus, these TV stories don’t have to rely as much on things like manipulative cliff-hangers – a holdover from the network TV era where shows needed a hook to pull people back next week. Now, storytellers can instead count more on Netflix’s auto-play feature, which loads up the next episode immediately after the current one ends.
On Netflix, it takes more effort to stop watching than to keep bingeing.
The new data doesn’t definitively prove that these factors have contributed to why Netflix is capturing more viewing hours, but they likely play a role.
Apr 23, 2020
It’s probably not a great surprise that most stats published recently show that video viewing is up overall in countries enduring a COVID-19 induced lockdown. But if you look more closely at the stats three distinct patterns emerge: ● Daytime viewing is performing really well - primarily powered by large upticks in news and kid’s programming ● Live video growth is outperforming the growth in VoD and streaming - primarily driven by news ● Operators and content owners are trying new business models, such as ‘straight to streaming’ for new movies.
Daytime video viewing
While overall viewing has increased, one of the biggest trends has been a resurgence in daytime viewing. Because the effects of the global pandemic are having far-reaching impacts across the economic and political spectrums, news channels are seeing a major increase in viewership figures. Meanwhile, with social restrictions forcing schools to close down, kids have been turning to their favourite channels to pass the time. Streaming platforms are seeing increased viewership.
AT&T highlighted that CNN daytime viewership increased 150% in the week commencing 16 March compared to last year, meanwhile, on Monday, March 16 (the first full weekday following actions taken by many local and state governments to begin enforcing social distancing measures across the US) Fox News, MSNBC and Fox Business all experienced significant double-digit increases. A Nielsen analysis report also showed that consumers are increasingly gravitating to local news outlets to stay informed about the impact of the pandemic on their communities.
As governments are continuing to give daily updates on their efforts to address the virus and advise their citizens on the next course of action, it is likely that we will continue to see a rise in news consumption as people tune into their trusted channels for ongoing information about the world around them. And it’s not just news that’s enjoying a surge in popularity, with family-oriented programming channels also enjoying strong audience growth, with reports of TeenNick almost tripling and total time spent watching the network increasing 171%, DisneyXD and Nicktoons daytime viewing up over 60% with Nick Jr. and the Disney Channel up around 30%.
Live video viewing is rising fast
The Havas Media Group COVID-19 Media Behaviours Report found that in the UK 48% of people are watching more live TV than they did before lockdown, with around 40% watching more video on demand and streaming services. The report also showed that Live TV has a 40%+ upswing in all age groups, whereas streaming and VOD growth was concentrated in the younger age groups. Havas also reported strong TV growth for TV viewing in the other regions monitored, including France, Germany Italy and China.
In the USA, reports are showing total viewing hours up for live TV, driven upwards through an increase in total news viewing by over 70%.
New business models
Operators and content distributors are once again finding the truth of necessity being the mother of invention, with changes to schedules and business models.
Discussing the challenge of lockdown viewing, Ryan Chanatry, general manager of Topic, a popular OTT streaming service powered by 24i, told us that he is producing a limited series comedy special, to lighten people’s spirits and has been able to rearrange its programming schedule to launch a few high-profile and most binge-worthy dramas and comedies earlier than initially planned.
Another interesting trend is looking afresh at movie windows, with some studios trying ‘straight to streaming’ release windows. Reporting on this trend, Colin Dixon of nScreen Media discussing NBCU pressing ahead with PVOD, wrote: “It (NBCU) released Trolls World Tour direct to digital on April 10, and the move seems to have paid off. The $20 rental generated $2-$3 million on the first day of release in the U.S. and could be headed to outstrip Avengers: Endgame first week of digital availability.”
Our customers are enjoying viewing uplifts, in some cases much higher than the figures reported above. At Amino and 24i we continue to work hard to support our broadcast clients to work as effectively and efficiently as possible and that our OTT and streaming customers can readily scale in line with demand.
I’m looking forward to watching how these trends will play-out and if they will permanently affect business models as well as enabling us all to view what we want, when we want, at home, at work or on the move; long after the COVID-19 lockdown is over.
Contact us today to find out 24i can help you scale and extend your OTT streaming services
Feb 21, 2018
Oct 03, 2018