Is there any question that Netflix is changing consumer video habits? For doubters, consider this -- the number of consumers who watch Internet video primarily on their TVs has risen to 45% from 33% a year ago, according to market research firm NPD Group. Concurrently, the number of video viewers who turn to the PC as the main screen for streaming video dropped from 48% to 31% over the last year.
The embattled -- but very definitely still-standing -- Netflix has become the centerpiece service for watching TV on your own schedule on the TV set. The study found that among consumers who watch Web video on their TV set, 40% use the set to stream video from Netflix, 12% to check out HuluPlus, and 4% to view Vudu.
The growth in TV set usage for streaming video also stems from the availability of smart TVs. NPD said that about 12% of the TVs in the U.S. in the second quarter were connected devices, which amounts to more than 29 million connected TV sets in the US. About 10% of U.S. homes own a connected TV, and in the last year about 43% have used those sets for online entertainment. So what about the rest? Gaming consoles are still a huge source of viewing for over-the-top services, with 47% of consumers saying they use their consoles, and 62% using streaming services like AppleTV or Roku. (Many consumers have both connected TVs and an additional box.)