U.S. Netflix Usage Up Despite Sub Loses

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LONDON & NEW YORK—While widely publicized sub losses at Netflix have hammered the streamers stock price, a new report from Attest finds that usage of the platform continues to rise. In fact, Attest found that Netflix had the biggest growth in regular users of all the streaming services in Q1 2022 in the U.S.

In January, Netflix announced its first monthly subscription price increase in two years and by April it reported shedding 600,000 subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. 

Yet, Netflix had a 2.8 percentage point increase in people watching it at least once a week - taking its audience to 71.2% of working-age Americans in Q1 2022, Attest reported in its new “Quarterly UK and US Media Consumption Tracker.”

In sharp contrast, the research found that Amazon Prime, one of Netflix’s closest competitors, took a big hit, with a 5.2 percentage point reduction in weekly viewers in the US (now at 41.3%). And Amazon was not alone in losing viewers: HBO Max fell by 3.1 percentage points (at 26.4%) and Disney+ saw a 2.2 percentage point reduction in weekly users (at 32.4%).

With usage amongst consumers appearing to hold up, Netflix’s plans to crack down on password sharing could have a significantly negative impact on usage levels in future, the Attest researchers said. 

Number of hours Americans spend watching TV also creeped up in Q1 2022, Attest reported. 

The research found that binge watching of TV—across live, on-demand and streaming—increased by a 2.9 percentage point in Americans watching more than six hours of TV (up to 16% in Q1). There was also a 2.2 percentage point increase in those watching up to four hours in front of the TV (to 32.9%). 

In terms of social media in the U.S., the Attest report found that Twitter achieved little growth in usage in Q1. When compared with Q4 2021, Twitter achieved a tiny 0.9 percentage point increase in weekly users by the end of Q1 2022. 

Over the same period, it actually recorded a 0.5 percentage point increase in the number of people who say they ‘never’ use the platform - this figure now stands at half of working-age Americans (50%). 

This highlights the scale of Elon Musk’s job to take the platform forward if he eventually takes over the company, the researchers said. 

Facebook, Instagram and most of all, Snapchat, also saw a rise in ‘non-users’ this past quarter. 

Facebook and Instagram both saw their numbers of non-users increase (by 2.3 and 2.5 percentage points respectively). 

Snapchat had the highest loss of users from quarter to quarter of any platform, with a 3.3 percentage point increase in the number of people who never use it, leaving well over half of Americans (53.2%) as non-users.  

By contrast, TikTok was the only social media platform from this research to show growth amongst non-users -- achieving a 1 percentage point decline in Americans who ‘never’ use the service (from 47.7% in Q4 to 46.7% in Q1), the report explained.  

Finally, YouTube trumped all platforms with a significant spike in active, daily users - jumping by nearly 5 percentage points when compared to Q4 levels, meaning 52% of the public use this platform on a daily basis. 

More information on the report and studies are available here.  

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.