Commentary

Netflix & Streaming Play Nice With Pay TV

TV viewers are becoming streamers, but they aren’t cutting the cord. So says two recent reports that shed insight into some of the consumer behavior trends most critical to media programmers today: video consumption habits, and how they are changing.

A whopping 28% of all TV viewing in the United States is delivered via streaming, according to a new GfK MRI report on the topic. That includes both subscription and free services. The streaming breaks down into a range of delivery methods: about 16% access streaming TV content via a computer or mobile device, while 9% rely on a connected TV to stream shows digitally, and 3% use other means, such as game consoles.

The report also found that about 41% of TV viewers subscribe to at least three digital TV services online, in addition to pay TV via cable, satellite or telco.

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Those figures dovetail into a study showing the impact of Netflix’s skyrocketing consumption on pay TV services. The verdict? They’re coexisting nicely for now. The Diffusion Group says that pay TV use among Netflix streaming customers has remained steady, while the use of Netflix streaming has actually risen among pay TV users, to the tune of 33%. Specifically, the use of pay TV among Netflix streamers dipped only 3 percentage points in the last three years, from 87% to 84%. Meanwhile, the use of Netflix streaming in total rose from 36% to 49% in the same period.

Those figures underscore the increasing premise that over-the-top options are not cannibalizing existing multichannel video services. However, TDG does warn that Netflix is “an incremental threat to premium services” since Netflix users are less likely to subscribe to premium sports, pay per view and other additional services.

 

 

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