A survey reported on by eMarketer shows that 31% of internet users, nearly a third of all users, use streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu for their primary mode of TV watching. That’s behind only traditional cable TV providers at 35%, and up from 24% just a year ago. Satellite TV comes next at 17%.
More findings from the survey:
Among the top reasons given by those who retained cable packages for traditional TV service were access to broadcast TV channels, sports content and premium channels.
On the other end, streaming’s success can pretty much be summed up in one word—Netflix. Over three-quarters (76%) of respondents named Netflix as one of the services they would pay for if they had to choose just three, based on their current budget.
Netflix’s strategy of picking up the back catalogs of content studios at cut-rate prices is long gone, now that it’s demonstrated that even decades-old content can still have value in the digital era.
But the company’s pivot to creating its own original content appears to be working. According to data from RBC Capital Markets, 58% of Netflix subscribers surveyed in November said the company’s original content influenced their decision to sign up.
Netflix appears to be doubling down on its originals strategy. In its Q3 earnings call, the company said it planned to spend $8 billion on content in 2018, hoping to increase the share of that type of material to half of its overall content library.
Surveys like these showing the growth of streaming and the shrinking of cable subscriptions abound, and the findings show that the convenience of watching what you want, when you want to beats live TV every time, except for live sporting events and the odd other live popular events, like the Academy Awards. They also show that cable TV companies aren’t going to be going anywhere anytime soon, because they’re usually also the major internet provider for a given area.
Still, cable companies will need to improve the convenience and selection of their On Demand options and continue to offer content that no one else can get, making sure that some popular shows stay on cable and off of Hulu, if they want people to continue to get cable along with their internet.