TV Streamers Say They’d Still Want to Watch TV If They Took A Digital Break

December 16, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Video

Netflix-TV-Streamers-Viewing-Preferences-Dec2013Netflix has released some results from a survey it commissioned among adults who stream TV shows at least once a week, finding that (surprise) these streamers have a strong affinity for TV content. While most of the results confirm intuition, there are some interesting tidbits: for example, two-thirds of TV streamers said that if they took a digital time out, they’d still want to watch TV. That seems to support the concept that viewers are more concerned with the content than the method by which it’s delivered. In other words, the oft-cited phenomenon of cord-cutting and the related rise of over-the-top viewing signal more of a shift in how viewers are consuming content than the types of content they are watching. It also indicates that convenience is a main attraction of online video, something also found in numerous other pieces of research, such as this one. Netflix’s own survey data sees this, too: roughly 3 in 4 respondents said that streaming TV shows on their own schedule is their preferred way to watch them.

In fact, a prior study from Harris Interactive found that almost 8 in 10 adult Americans watch TV on their own schedule. Of course, Netflix isn’t the only way to view TV shows on one’s own schedule: recent data from Leichtman Research Group, for example, shows that 7 in 10 TV households in the US now have a DVR, subscribe to Netflix, or use video-on-demand (VOD) from a cable or telco provider.

Regardless the ways in which viewers are watching content, the move towards binge-viewing (which half of Americans indulge in, per the above-mentioned Harris study) appears to be here to stay. That’s because about three-quarters of the Netflix survey respondents say they hold positive feelings towards binge streaming TV, and – perhaps more importantly – 79% said that watching several episodes of their favorite shows in one session makes the programs more enjoyable.

Other Findings:

  • 73% of respondents defined binge viewing as watching 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in a single session.
  • 8 in 10 TV streamers would rather stream a good TV show than read a friend’s social media posts.
  • About half of those who ever stream multiple episodes in a row prefer to watch with another person.
  • 76% of TV streamers say that binge viewing is a “welcome refuge from their busy lives.”

About the Data: The survey was conducted online within the United States between November 25 and 27, 2013 among 3,078 adults aged 18 and older, of whom 1,496 stream TV shows at least once a week, by Harris Interactive on behalf of Netflix via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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