Netflix not cannibalising linear TV viewing, research says

Netflix is not cannibalising the amount of linear television viewing in TiVo households, new research claims.

TiVo Research and Analytics (TRA), the largest provider of single-source TV viewing and purchase data for advertisers and TV networks, says that Netflix subscribers watch as much TV as other TV viewers – and not only do they watch Netflix content as well as linear TV, they also watch more premium content.

A May 2013 survey, involving nearly 10,000 subscribers to DVR specialist TiVo, found that of the 57% who said they subscribed to Netflix, 18% had watched House of Cards, the first original series offered by Netflix. Half said that they subscribed to Amazon Prime and 18% to Hulu Plus – with 8% subscribing to all three OTT services.

TRA also observed historical TV viewing data from households from November 2012 through to April 2013 across 28 of the most watched TV networks, before benchmarking them against TRA’s 1.5 million TV households.

TRA said the survey showed that Netflix households were also heavier viewers of other premium dramas. Households reporting viewing House of Cards watched 85 per cent more HBO than non-Netflix households, and House of Cards households watched Showtime’s Homeland 125 per cent more than those who don’t use Netflix.

The survey found no significant difference in the amount of traditional TV viewing between the (self-reported) Netflix and non-Netflix households, nor did either group differ from the overall TV viewing population. The conclusion: Netflix does not appear to cannibalise traditional TV.

Mark Lieberman, CEO of TRA said, “Our data show that Netflix is not currently a substitute for traditional television, but offers a way for TV lovers to watch more of the kinds of programmes they love. The future of television may tell a different story, but as of today we’ve found that the Netflix subscribers in our study are not watching less traditional TV.”

TRA is a media marketing and analytics software company. Its clients include Procter and Gamble, CBS, A&E Television Networks, ION Media, Oscar Mayer, Sunovian and Starcom MediaVest Group.

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