Consumers seem to have unusual passions about Netflix, and apparently they use the service too. The Diffusion Group (TDG) is releasing a white paper today that concludes that Netflix streaming has increased 350% over the last ten quarters, from 2 billion hours at the end of 2011 to 7 billion hours at the end of the second quarter this year.
The average streamer watches 46.6 hours of Netflix content monthly, according to Netflix’s own analysis of things -- up from 28.3 hours during Q4 in 2011.
That’s a lot of time -- no profound analysis there -- and for advertisers and networks, that's a pretty big bunch of content that is presented free of commercials. For a generation growing up with online video and Netflix, that might present an environmental challenge. How ya’ gonna feed viewers 16 minutes of commercials an hour when they begin getting used to paying for content?
That, to me, is what’s truly amazing about Netflix. Buying HBO, when cable was newer, was usually presented as an option for film buffs or true television addicts. Subscribing to Netflix is just an ordinary thing, nearly an assumed cost as part of the broadband experience.
I guess I am amazed by that because Netflix gets almost universal praise for a service that seems to disappoint me a lot. Am I the only Netflix online user that thinks the red-envelope users have a much better thing going on for them than I do? Maybe I take the demand part of on-demand little too literally, but Netflix often takes the old disappointment of a visit to Blockbuster and lets me relive it in the comfort of my living room.
There is no doubt there is a wellspring of good feeling about the service. Recently, Variety reported on a Netflix survey that showed Americans -- at least more than Britons -- accepted the idea of spoilers. In this country, you can pretty much know what’s going to happen and you will still watch. Netflix seemed to suggest it was taking subtle responsibility for the whole spoiler trend. And that, Variety said, was just another example of its smart marketing. Oh, c’mon.
In April, when Netflix said it would be raising rates, you’d have thought a business site like Forbes (or a business site like Forbes would like you to think) would be a little critical.
Instead, there was this: “As always, there are two responses one can have to the news: cancel your Netflix subscription and lose access to its exclusive content, such as "House of Cards," "Orange is the New Black" and a massive Disney catalog, or roll with the news and accept the increase. So how does this benefit the end user? Should one cancel their subscription, the money is saved, and they’re no longer financing a service they don’t want. But if one decides to hold onto the service, it means more money in Netflix’s hands for things like better content and higher-quality streaming.”