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Survey: SVOD Users Prefer TV Shows to Movies

19 Jul, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Star Trek: Enterprise 2001-2005

Users of subscription video-on-demand services watch four times as many TV shows as movies – and they’re just as likely to choose old “Star Trek” episodes as something from the past year, according to new data from GfK.

The New York-based research firm surveyed 500 SVOD subs’ viewing habits over a seven-day period who claimed to use either Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video or Hulu Plus.

About 81% of 2,300 viewing segments mentioned were for TV shows, compared to 19% for movies. While Hulu Plus viewers watched TV shows almost exclusively (96%), Netflix users preferred TV shows by a three-to-one margin (77% versus 23%), and Amazon Prime by about four to one (79% vs. 21%).

In terms of total viewing time, TV dominated movies by a factor of two to one. Even though the average time for each movie was much greater, this was more than offset by the much higher number of programs viewed.

About half of the streaming was watched on a TV set connected to a game console, Blu-ray Disc player, media player, or built-in connection.

Among TV shows cited, the combined “Star Trek” TV series catalog got the most mentions, at 4% of all streaming segments, followed by “Breaking Bad” and “”Mad Men” (3%). All other programs rated 2% or below

The 10 most-watched movies ranged from Mission: Impossible, A Dark Truth to Thor. Only The Hunger Games (at 7%) broke the 2% level.

“We see that, contrary to broadcast TV’s ‘mass’ audience model, streaming services generate episodic, niche viewing -- more broad and unpredictable than even the 200 channels on your cable TV menu. These services provide the control and multiplicity of choice that consumers crave, and the result is very individual behavior,” said David Tice, SVP of GfK’s media and entertainment team, in a statement.


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