US visitors to free TV streaming websites like Hulu.com are “very satisfied overall” with their experience, with all of the country’s top ten sites having strong consumer feedback, according to new findings from The NPD Group.
After Hulu, the biggest free streaming sites are the five broadcast network sites (CBS.com, ABC.com, FOX.com, NBC.com, and CWTV.com), which together accounted for another 30 percent of total streams.
Four cable TV sites – abcfamily.com, comedycentral.com, MTV.com, and A&ETV.com – round out the list of the ten most popular free streaming TV sites in the US.
According to the report, 12% of US TV viewers are streaming shows for free during the prior three months, compared to 14% who watched a TV show via a subscription video-on-demand service like Netflix.
“Over half of the viewers for streaming TV are between the ages of 18 and 34, so the YouTube generation is evolving from short-form and user-generated content to TV shows and, like YouTube, they can watch where and when they want,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD.
“Despite the attention lavished on tablets and phones, an astonishing 83 percent of free TV streaming programs are viewed on a computer.”
In addition to generally performing well on convenience and site organisation, the top ten free streaming sites are also deemed to perform well on current release availability, although users of Fox.com rate the site much lower on this measure, due to the fact that Fox generally delays availability of its programming.
Based on NPD’s findings, the shift toward Internet video distribution drives a more complex and diverse set of content and purchase and rental options to consumers. With it comes a more diverse set of direct and indirect competitors among movie studios and TV networks, as well as their TV and digital distribution partners.
“From the consumer perspective, it is important to monitor the habits and perceptions of the audience as all of these distribution models evolve, which will help align programming to the target audience and inform whether consumers are responding positively to the experience these options provide,” concludes Crupnick.