Live TV Holding Off Netflix as First Choice for Viewing

A third of Netflix subscribers turn to the SVOD service first when looking for something to watch
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GULFPORT, FLA.—Live TV still remains the go to choice for nearly half of TV viewers when they want to find something to watch, but subscription video-on-demand services are closing the gap, with Netflix leading the way. According to a new study from Hub Entertainment Research, one in four people will use an SVOD as their default source for programming and one in five says they turn to Netflix first.

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Those already subscribed to Netflix, the study finds, are more likely to use the service to serve as their go to option. Subscribers that first check Netflix when they want to watch something reaches 31 percent; when focused toward the 16-24 age group, that number jumps to 50 percent. Netflix’s original programming is apparently playing a part in this, with a reported one-third of subscribers watching the original content most often.

Netflix is also performing better in this area than its streaming competitors, Hulu and Amazon Prime. The study finds that OTT households spend more time on Netflix than any other SVOD, though in terms of engagement, Hulu comes out on top. Hub reasons that though these results show that Hulu viewers are committed to the platform, it might not be their default source of programming.

Another area of interest the study focused on was which service would viewers keep above all others. Live TV just edged out Netflix 36 percent to 33 percent, though when it comes to younger viewers (18-34) Netflix came out on top.

SVOD continues to grow in households, with 65 percent of pay-TV subscribers saying they use either Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu as well. The report found that 38 percent of pay-TV subscribers had at least two of the services—up from 25 percent in 2016—and 14 percent had all three—up from 6 percent.

To see the full report, click here.