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NPD: Hulu Plus, Amazon Gaining on Netflix

4 Jun, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Rival streaming services make incremental gains delivering televsion programming

Netflix is a juggernaut in the subscription video-on-demand market, but Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video made gains in the first quarter with repurposed television programming, according to new data from The NPD Group.

In the TV category, which accounts for 80% of SVOD streams, Netflix holds an 89% market share — down 4% from the same period last year. Hulu Plus, the SVOD unit of Hulu, showed growth in the quarter, with 10% of TV streams (up from 7%), while Amazon Prime accounted for 2% (up from 1%) of the overall TV units streamed.

According to NPD's VideoWatch VOD report, the number of viewers watching television shows using SVOD services increased 34%, compared with the same quarter year-ago.

“There's no doubt that Netflix is driving the growth in SVOD, particularly with increased attention to television programming,” Russ Crupnick, SVP of industry analysis at NPD, said in a statement. “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% of SVOD subscribers streamed only from Netflix. In Q1 this year that figure fell to 67%, while 10% of SVOD streamers used both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and 8% used both Netflix and Hulu. 

“Since its launch, Netflix 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.”

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