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Netflix, OTT Video Grab 45% of All U.S. TV Viewing in the First-Half of 2015

3 Jul, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The milestones keep coming for Netflix. The subscription streaming pioneer accounted for 28% of all domestic television viewing, according to a blog post by ad firm Alphonso. Other over-the-top video services such as Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, CBS All Access, HBO Now, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV grabbed 17% of viewing — compared with a 15% decline in linear TV viewing.

For the record, Netflix and OTT video service do not disclose viewership data, including ratings for original programming, citing a lack of advertisers to appease.

Regardless, ad-supported live-TV viewing declined 8% to 42%, while recorded program viewing dropped 6% to 9%. Interestingly, on-demand programming fell 6% to 2% of all domestic TV viewing — underscoring the power of OTT video.

Alphonso said it generated findings from more than 20 billion data points on TV viewership and mobile app usage, including more than 6,000 unique TV shows and almost 10,000 TV commercials.

The company said Netflix grew its viewing audience 87% from the first two quarters of 2014, compared with 70% for other OTT video services. Indeed, Alphonso says Netflix ranks the No. 3 “TV broadcaster” in the U.S. — a position the ad firm believes could reach No. 1 in 2016.

The data and proclamations could be self-serving as Alphonso questions why Netflix won’t consider paid advertising embedded in original content.

“Numbers suggest Netflix will make more money and gain the last 40% of the market share by offering a free ad supported product in the next couple of years,” Alphonso wrote.

For the record, Netflix and CEO Reed Hastings have steadfastly denied any interest running advertising with any content.

Meanwhile, while the rise in OTT video (and Netflix) cannot be ignored, linear TV posses an ace: Live programming such as sports and special events, including awards season.

According to Alphonso, among the Top 30 television programs when factoring in cross-engagement via portable devices, sports ranked No. 1.

NCAA men’s college basketball was the most popular, followed by ESPN Sports Center, the 2015 Men’s College Basketball Tournament, NBA basketball, NFL football, PGA Tour, Super Bowl XLIX and NHL Hockey.


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