If you’ve ever had a doubt in your mind that Netflix is not as enormous and massive in the entertainment industry as the company makes it seem, get ready to have your mind blown. According to not-quite-fine-tuned analytical data, it looks like the streaming giant is on pace to completely blow past ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox by next year in terms of its 24-hour audiences. The Big Four should spend the rest of the year getting their backs stretched out before bowing down.
According to Variety, the Wall Street analyst firm FBR Capital Markets has put together some numbers to make a broad comparison that shows Netflix’s trajectory of success will probably bypass that of its network counterparts in a year’s time. Of course, Netflix is famous for keeping its exact viewer data hidden from everyone, but they release enough general statistics to give this lofty prediction some stability.
In order to get these numbers, the analysts took Netflix’s claims that its users streamed around 10 billion hours of its video library in the first quarter of 2015 – which comes out to around 2 hours of viewing a day per subscriber – and divided that number by 24 hours, then multiplying that figure by the number of Netflix subscribers in the U.S., using that last number as a percentage of households in order to come up with a Nielsen rating. When everything was tallied, Netflix had a Q1 rating of 2.6, which is right around what ABC and NBC are getting.
But of course, Netflix is on the rise, while network TV is on the decline. The streaming company appears to be gaining ground at a compound annual growth rate of over 40%, which easily puts it on track to bypass the networks at some point in 2016. There are a few number-skewing details which might change these figures one way or the other, as network Nielsen ratings don’t take into account viewing totals that go past seven days beyond a show’s live airing, nor do they account for people who watch network shows online or on demand. (Like me, much of the time.)
FBR also brought up that their stats shows that 57% of consumers were more likely to choose Netflix over a cable or satellite TV subscription, which isn’t surprising when considering it only costs eight bucks to stream stuff as compared to a much larger pay-drop for standard channel subscriptions. And almost every single series that Netflix gets involved with, from Daredevil to House of Cards to its upcoming slate, reaches a higher profile status than many shows that crop up on network schedules without much widespread fanfare. If Netflix starts offering up more traditional week-to-week airings of shows, that could also help their original series gain even more conversational traction.
I guess time will tell how powerful Netflix will get, both here in the U.S. and around the world. Now I’m going to finally check out that Scrotal Recall show I’ve been hearing so much about.