Hub: Viewers More Likely to Discover New Shows Online

BOSTON—There’s a lot of good content in what has been called the golden age of television, and viewers are discovering new and sometimes classic shows frequently. How they discover them has changed in recent years, however, as online sources are becoming the go-to place rather than through traditional pay-TV set-top box, according to Hub.

In its annual “Conquering Content” study, Hub has found that online resources have not only overtaken traditional TV options for finding and viewing new shows, but that it is nearly doubling as the place for viewers to discover their new favorite shows.

In 2015, when Hub asked viewers to reveal how they found a favorite show they’ve discovered in the last year, 57% said that they did so through a set-top box either with live TV, DVR or VoD; online came in at 43%. Since then, those numbers have been trending in opposite directors, and as of 2019 the margin is the largest its ever been, with online serving as the main source for 63% of viewers, while traditional TV options were the method for just 35%.

Netflix has separated itself as the top online choice. After overtaking traditional TV for the first time in 2018, the streamer has built upon its lead and was cited as the source of new favorite shows by 34% of respondents (up from 30% in 2018). Meanwhile, in comparison, traditional TV dropped a couple of points from 25% in 2018 to 23% in 2019.

“Even if traditional TV platforms still account for the bulk of all TV viewing, online sources are now the clear go-to for consumers’ favorite shows—the shows they’re most likely to talk about with others,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. “Equally notable is that Netflix, by itself, is now a stronger source of favorite shows than all linear TV networks taken together.”

More information on the study can be found at