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If you just clicked on this article after finishing an episode of Orange is the New Black on Netflix, rather than watching something through cable or satellite, you’re part of a growing group of entertainment-indulgers who doesn’t need the boob tube to get the job done. It looks like more people than ever are using streaming to watch their favorite series, and it’s a number that will presumably only get bigger.
According to the website Broadcasting Cable, a new survey from research company GIK MRI has produced results that show 28% of all TV watching is done through digital streaming. I mean, I knew that people couldn’t get enough of Netflix and all, but I’m not sure I would have guessed that over a fourth of all TV imbibing happened via online means. Not that it’s just Netflix drawing all the attention.
According to the survey, 41% of those polled fall into the “Digital Enthusiasts” category, which means they use a standard cable or satellite subscription, combined with three streaming TV options, with Amazon and Hulu also gaining ground. (That may or may not describe me as well.) Hell, some networks are even starting to use Facebook as a means of previewing new series before they ever reach TV, and we can only assume that and other social media trends will grow as time goes on. That, combined with more networks releasing their own standalone streaming services like CBS and Showtime.
Here’s how GfK MRI’s executive VP of Product Management Christie Kawada put it.
Our study reveals important new populations of TV viewers, emphasizing how TV has taken on a whole new meaning, with different approaches to combining streaming and traditional platforms and viewing. We live in a new type of video ecosystem, where online video and live TV co-exist amongst traditional cable offerings, apps and digital streaming of live TV…Even digitally savvy viewers still value time-honored TV experiences, like social viewing and second-screen experiences, thus keeping linear viewing strong in today’s digital world.
That that linear viewing is called “strong” is probably due to the fact that 72% is bigger than 28%, but those numbers had to be stronger and far more offset as recent as two years ago, when Netflix Originals were still in their infancy and networks hadn’t quite fully jumped on the digital bandwagon. And it’s only looking better for streaming, as more people are continuing to choose Netflix over traditional methods of TV viewing.
And in a time when people are more interested in molding viewing habits to their own schedules, with or without commercials involved, it only makes sense that on-the-go streaming will be the norm, with exceptions like live sports and awards shows continuing TV’s relevancy. (39% of TV viewers are watching live telecasts, according to the survey, so make of that what you will.) Not to mention everyone who is desperate to keep up with twisty series so that the collective Internet doesn’t spoil everything. If only that part of the digital experience could get vanquished forever.
Let us know what your viewing methods are.
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