Commentary

Netflix Dominates, But Competitors Also Gain Strength

Netflix may be the leader of the over-the-top (OTT) business, but the medium itself is now becoming more powerful than its dominant player. To be sure, Netflix still holds a commanding lead among streaming services. But the competition is closing in, said comScore in a just-released report.

As of December, more than 49 million homes — representing about 53% of WiFi-connected households in the U.S. — used at least one OTT service. Many of those homes opted for Netflix, which has found its way into three-quarters of those homes.

But YouTube is no slouch either, according to comScore. Its reach for streaming is 53%, with Amazon at 33% and Hulu at 17%. ComScore said about 11 streaming services now reach more than one million homes per month.

These users are avid viewers. They watch OTT video about 2.2 hours a day over an average of 19 days per month. Interestingly, much of this viewing takes place during TV prime-time hours, suggesting that streaming video is indeed finding ways to replace traditional viewing.

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Even though Netflix is in the most homes, Dish’s live TV service, Sling TV, logs more viewing time, with about 47 viewing hours each month.

The research firm points out that even though 75% of OTT homes watch Netflix, the other 25% are only watching competing services, indicating there’s plenty of room for those services to keep growing.

1 comment about "Netflix Dominates, But Competitors Also Gain Strength".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 14, 2017 at 10:42 a.m.

    Daisy, ComScore  did not suggest that the non-Nexflix OTT services reach only 25% of OTT homes. Their reach is much greater than that. In fact, the findings for Netflix are far from positive. According to comScore's data, only 31% of all homes used Netflix in the month of December 2016, yet the service claims 50 million U.S. subs, which would equal a coverage factor of about 42%. So roughly one fourth of Netflix subs do not even wacth a single Netflix show in a month. Also, the finding that an average Netflix home that uses the service's content spends 28 hours per month doing so, translates into only about 30 minutes of Netflix content viewing per Netflix home resident, not the 50-55 minutes we have been assuming. I can't say whether the comScore findings are accurate but they are hardly what I expected. 

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