It’s been a long time in coming, but now it’s official: Netflix is the most popular way for people to watch TV and movies, beating out broadcast, cable and other streaming platforms.
According to Variety, a study done by May, Cowen & Co. confirms that streaming on Netflix is now more popular than watching TV shows on an actual TV. In a survey of 2,500 adults in the United States, 27 percent said that Netflix is their preferred way of watching new video content, compared to basic cable with 12.6 percent and 7.5 percent for broadcast TV.
Other online streaming services are also beating the old boob tube, though are still not matching Netflix. 17 percent of respondents named Youtube as their choice, while Hulu, with 7.6 percent, is lagging behind.
Of course, these days many people to do not even bother subscribing for pay TV. Not surprisingly, those who do list it as their preferred platform, but even among that group Netflix is a close second.
Also fairly predictably, it is the youngest adult demographic, those aged 18 to 34, who are most likely to choose Netflix, at 40 percent. “Over the long term, assuming [Netflix] is able to continue to increasingly offer great content, this lead clearly bodes well for further value creation,” the analysts noted.
Originally founded in 1997 as a way to rent DVDs by mail, Netflix began streaming in 2007, allowing subscribers to choose from all sorts of programs in the comfort of their home. Nowadays it also has plenty of its own original content, both in terms of movies and series. While many of its properties have a reputation for being subpar, it has great success with House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things, among others. Netflix is spending $13 billion on new content this year, which is a risky move, but seems to be paying off for now.
This all has had a profound effect on the industry. Disney in particular had come to see Netflix as a major rival, and is working on its own streaming service to try and counter its influence; its ongoing acquisition of Fox properties is reportedly for that very purpose. More of such niche services seem to be on the way, such as DC Universe. It remains to be seen how well these efforts will play out.