The NPD Group: As TV Viewing Drives Subscription Video-On-Demand, Netflix Dominates, but Hulu Plus and Amazon Gain

Netflix is the primary choice for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) subscribers, but more consumers are trying alternatives.

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, June 4, 2013 – According to The NPD Group, a global information company, growth in watching television programming is driving subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) viewership, and Netflix continues to clearly dominate the category. According to NPD’s VideoWatch VOD report, in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013 the number of viewers watching television shows using SVOD services increased 34 percent, compared to the same quarter year-ago. NPD’s VideoWatch Digital tracking shows Netflix dominating the sector, with a 90 percent share of video-streaming units during Q1 2013, which was 4 percentage points lower than last year.

In the TV category alone, which accounts for 80 percent of streams, Netflix holds an 89 percent share. HuluPlus showed healthy growth in 2013, with 10 percent of TV streams in Q1, while Amazon Prime accounts for just 2 percent of the overall TV units streamed.

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. VideoWatch Digital

“There’s no doubt that Netflix is driving the growth in SVOD, particularly with increased attention to television programming,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD.  “We are also seeing good gains in the streaming numbers from Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, and while neither pose an immediate threat to Netflix it is interesting to see which services later adopters will try.”

In Q1 2012, 76 percent of SVOD subscribers streamed only from Netflix. In Q1 2013 that figure fell to 67 percent, while 10 percent of SVOD streamers used both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and 8 percent used both Netflix and Hulu.  

“Since its launch, Netflix Watch Instantly has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the SVOD market, and the company still has a quite comfortable market-share lead,” Crupnick said. “While Hulu Plus and Amazon both still have a long way to go before they come close to catching Netflix, we are beginning to see increasing trial of these services, even among some Netflix users.”

Data note: Information in this press release was derived from NPD’s “VideoWatch VOD” report and the “VideoWatch Digital,” consumer tracker, which is based on completed surveys from 46,403 SVOD subscribers. Data was weighted to represent U.S. population of Internet users (age 13 and older).

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