Netflix not replacing linear TV, people just lazier : /

Faith Merino · July 29, 2013 · Short URL:

TiVo study reveals Netflix not cannibalizing linear TV, people are just watching more

You might have noticed something about yourself and your other Netflix-subscribing friends: you seem to just be watching TV like, all the damn time now. As it turns out, you are! A new study released Monday by TiVo Research Analytics (TRA) finds that Netflix subscribers aren’t watching Netflix instead of traditional or “linear” TV; they’re watching it alongside traditional TV.

In other words, you're watching a lot of damn TV. Quit being a lazy mooch and go mow the damn lawn already.

The study’s findings reveal the reality that people’s TV viewing habits aren’t radically altered by the addition of a Netflix subscription. They don’t change what they already watch—they just watch that in addition to Orange is the New Black.

TRA researchers surveyed TiVo subscribers who opted in to have their set-top box viewing information collected as part of TiVo’s Power Watch panel. Subscribers’ viewing data was collected while they supplied answers related to their own opinions and viewing behavior. And in the end, the survey found no significant difference in traditional TV viewing between the Netflix and non-Netflix households.

If anything, subscribing to Netflix is akin to simply adding another premium channel like Showtime or Starz to your cable package. Respondents who watched House of Cards watched 85% more HBO than non-Netflix households. Additionally, those who watched House of Cards watched Showtime’s Homeland 125% more than those who don’t have Netflix.

This makes sense. Netflix’s strategy is to become the go-to source for Internet TV, and it’s doing that by launching a string of high-profile, widely acclaimed original series—in essence, making itself the HBO/Showtime/Starz/Cinemax for the Web.

It so happens that people who subscribe to premium channels like HBO tend to watch more TV in general than the average cable subscriber. HBO CEO Richard Plepler has said previously that the average HBO household watches 287 hours of TV a week, compared to the average cable household, which watches 241 hours of TV a week.

Of course, the HBOs and Showtimes of the world might find this survey concerning, since it proves that Netflix is on par with the premium channels and attracts the same customers they do. It’s not a long-shot to imagine that somebody some day is going to look at their cable bill and say “Jesus! I’m spending $300 a month on TV and Internet!” And as Netflix continues to put out popular new originals while HBO continues to be a jerk about not offering a standalone streaming service, Netflix is going to come out on top. 


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