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Nielsen: Netflix Users Primarily Stream Through Game Consoles

27 Jul, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Study also finds Hulu users prefer watching content on the computer

Netflix streaming may be available via more than 300 consumer electronics devices, but most of its subscribers watch content through three video game consoles and on the computer, according to a new Nielsen report.

Half of all Netflix users connect via the following game consoles: Nintendo Wii (25%), Sony PlayStation 3 (13%) or Microsoft Xbox Live (12%). By comparison, just 8% of Hulu users connect via the aforementioned game systems.

Hulu users primarily (89%) access programming directly on their computer compared to Netflix users (42%). Just 14% of Netflix users (20% of Hulu) connect their computer to the TV to stream content.

The study was based on 12,000 online interviews conducted in March.

Interestingly, Internet-enabled media player Roku, which helped launch Netflix streaming in 2008, accounted for just 5% of respondents’ choice to access the service. Another 3% used the device to access Hulu. Google TV and Apple TV trailed at 1% each for Hulu and Netflix.

About 11% of respondents used an Internet-connected Blu-ray Disc player to access Netflix (2% for Hulu), while 6% streamed content via a connected TV (2% among Hulu users).

Also noteworthy, the Apple iPad, which included a Netflix app at launch, accounted for just 3% of respondents’ Netflix access — despite considerable media attention given to the service’s availability on the tablet computer. Another 1% of respondents use the iPad to watch Hulu content. Similar percentages for the mobile phone (3% Netflix, 2% Hulu) and TiVo (2% Netflix only) underscore the small footprint of these devices in the streaming realm.

Finally, Netflix subscribers primarily stream movies (53%) compared to TV shows (11%), while 36% do both. The data is significant considering Netflix continues to spend mainly on acquiring TV content. By comparison, 73% of Hulu users mostly watch TV programming compared to 9% who view movies and 18% who do both.


About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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