U.S. cord cutters watch more Netflix than Amazon Video, Hulu and YouTube combined

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.

Source: Techcrunch

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Over the top (OTT) television is changing the way people watch video. Whereas television screens were once used almost exclusively for linear TV, today’s viewers use may connected devices, media adaptors and Internet TV apps to consume digital content. The average American, per eMarketer, watches more than 12 hours of OTT content each week. That figure is expected to grow to nearly 19 hours by 2020. From a consumer perspective, this growth shouldn’t come as a surprise. OTT is a convenient medium, one highly immersive and tailored to the viewer’s tastes in terms of content and advertising. Broadcasters and content owners can no longer reach their audiences solely through traditional channels. They need OTT offerings that enable viewers to access their preferred content on any device, anytime. Unfortunately, building a good OTT app can be easier said than done. Throughout the development process, video publishers must navigate a number of key choices that will ultimately make or break their execution. 1. Be Where Your Target Audience Is The always-connected consumer is driving cultural changes in content consumption that impact how companies connect with and engage consumers. Chances are, your audience watches OTT content across a massive number of mobile devices, smart TVs, consoles and media adapters. To be successful, you need one app for each device. The right digital agency can provide a future-proof template solution that allows you to quickly get to market with personalized apps for a variety of digital environments. Once you’re up and running, this technology lets you seamlessly launch new channels across multiple devices, as well as \publish and monetize content with a tailored template. 2. Personalization Is The Key To Engagement A critical ingredient to OTT success is establishing a one-to-one relationship with consumers that turns viewers into enthusiastic “fans,” those more passionate than your average loyal subscriber. By creating a user profile for every viewer, you can deliver personalized recommendations that guide customers through a potentially overwhelming content library. These users return to your properties every day, creating a cycle that allows you to learn more about your customers and deliver highly personalized experiences. This means monetizing your service more effectively and broadly. 3. Each Screen Has Its Own Unique User Environment In OTT, every screen you stream presents the user with a unique viewing experience. For instance, the relatively large size of TV screens creates a much more immersive environment for users, making these devices perfect for long-form content and binge watching. Tablets and smartphone devices allow content providers to take advantage of interactive features not found on the big screen. Mobile devices are also a great place to stream short-form content tailored to the individual user. Each device is likely to have different kinds of people watching. For instance, kids and Millennials watch video almost exclusively on tablets and smartphones. Tailor accordingly. 4. Help Audiences Find Your Content Even if you have quality content and a great user experience, your app won’t be worth much if no one knows it exists. Buy promoted placements on the homepages of OTT platforms like Roku. This gets your app in front of viewers at the precise moment they’re deciding what to watch next. It’s also important to open additional lines of communication beyond the OTT channels. By establishing email contact, you can drive repeat viewership by letting people know when you’ve added new content to the app. 5. The Way To Measure Success Consumers are extremely sophisticated about the quality of the video services they use. With access to more video than ever before on any device, people expect a more personalized service and a flawless viewing experience. If you fail to meet these expectations, viewers won’t return. It’s important to measure how many people are watching your content, how long they’re engaging for, and how smoothly they’re receiving your video feed. If users encounter buffering every time they try to stream your content, they’re not going to stick around. OTT is a fast-moving space where content owners need to remain flexible in order to keep up with the latest innovations and consumer trends.