Nielsen survey reveals habits of Netflix and Hulu customers

By on July 28, 2011, 11:00 AM

Despite the growing number of smartphones and tablets that are capable of streaming online video content, the majority of Netflix and Hulu users still stream to a TV screen or a computer. A new Nielsen survey that polled 12,000 streaming customers reveals a lot about how users connect to these services and the type of content that is being viewed.

Watching directly on a computer is the most popular method that customers use each service, with 42 percent of Netflix users and 89 percent of Hulu subscribers falling in this group. Game consoles are also very popular with video streamers. Half of all Netflix users in the study log in using a Wii, PS3 or Xbox. Only three percent of subscribers use a mobile phone or iPad to watch programming. Users were allowed to choose multiple viewing methods to best reflect their watching habits.

Even more interesting is the type of content that respondents are viewing from each site. According to the survey, over 50 percent of Netflix customers use the service strictly for watching movies, while only 11 percent of those questioned watch television shows exclusively. This is in stark contrast to Hulu users, where the majority polled, a staggering 73 percent, only use the service for television shows.

Do you subscribe to either of these online streaming services?  If so, does this data accurately reflect your watching habits?




User Comments: 13

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Guest said:

I find I watch mostly on my 3DS now that it supports Netflix. I can take it to the bathroom. I can take it to the lkitchen when I cook. I can take it outside when I want to relax. I typically only watch on my computer when I lay down to go asleep anymore.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't understand watching movies on a computer. Most people's monitors aren't much larger than 24", and desk chairs aren't the most comfortable thing in the world. Plus one, maybe two people can only watch at a time due to the diffusion you get from looking at a monitor from an angle.

Just seems like a step backwards to me....

Red87 said:

TomSEA said:

I don't understand watching movies on a computer. Most people's monitors aren't much larger than 24", and desk chairs aren't the most comfortable thing in the world. Plus one, maybe two people can only watch at a time due to the diffusion you get from looking at a monitor from an angle.

Just seems like a step backwards to me....

Hopefully IPS panels become more widespread in the future, or rather more affordable relative to TN panels. I freluently watch movies on my computer and even when chilling on the couch or bed. I use a Dell U2711 and it really isn't bad with the huge viewing angle, but I don't think I could actually stay in my chair for the length of a whole movie.

Guest said:

Actually if you add together Wii+PS3+360 you get those users accounting for 50% of netflix usage. The data needs to be reported differently to reflect the similarities of the consoles.

Ultimatley:

Hulu users primarily use the computer for viewing

Netflix users primarily use game console or internet enabled TV's/blu rays

howzz1854 said:

maybe that's because wireless providers slaps you with a $50 fine if you happen to step outside of that little circle that they draw up for you.

pabloker said:

I think that watch movies on a computer is not bad. I have a 24" LCD and I watch HD movies without problem. Obviously, is better with a 42 LED TV and a sofa....

I remember the end of the 90s when i watched movies in my 21" Sony Wega TV :( and I thought that it was "the best"

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

TomSEA said:

I don't understand watching movies on a computer. Most people's monitors aren't much larger than 24", and desk chairs aren't the most comfortable thing in the world. Plus one, maybe two people can only watch at a time due to the diffusion you get from looking at a monitor from an angle.

Just seems like a step backwards to me....

I understand your point, but I disagree under some circumstances. If you're like me, your computer is in your room, and your bed is in your room, and your bed is way more comfortable than your couch. I also have hundreds of downloaded movies/tv shows and netflix and a bluetooth logitech dinovo mini keyboard/mouse to control it all with, and a Dell U3011 30" IPS monitor... the latter few items probably make it a lot more compelling.

howzz1854 said:

prismatics said:

TomSEA said:

I don't understand watching movies on a computer. Most people's monitors aren't much larger than 24", and desk chairs aren't the most comfortable thing in the world. Plus one, maybe two people can only watch at a time due to the diffusion you get from looking at a monitor from an angle.

Just seems like a step backwards to me....

I understand your point, but I disagree under some circumstances. If you're like me, your computer is in your room, and your bed is in your room, and your bed is way more comfortable than your couch. I also have hundreds of downloaded movies/tv shows and netflix and a bluetooth logitech dinovo mini keyboard/mouse to control it all with, and a Dell U3011 30" IPS monitor... the latter few items probably make it a lot more compelling.

one of my computer (HTPC) is hooked up to the living room TV, so essentially i watch netflix on a 46" TV on a couch. it's only going to become more common.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Yup, howzz1854, they had a "connecting computer to TV" category. That I can understand and frankly, think is the future of television viewing.

Guest said:

I subscribe to Netflix and use an HTPC connected to the plasma big screen to stream movies (rarely TV shows, except for the recently added Star Trek franchises).

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That about falls in line with how I use those services device wise. However my content viewing is completely different, I find myself watching a lot more shows & series over Netflix then I do movies. Mostly because of the lack of current content.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

howzz1854 said:

one of my computer (HTPC) is hooked up to the living room TV, so essentially i watch netflix on a 46" TV on a couch. it's only going to become more common.

Yeah, that's how my set up is too. I normally use a monitor, but if I'm watching a movie, I clone the display to my HDTV and watch it on that.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I got a 1 month free trial of hulu plus. I tried to use it through my Sony bluray player and the experience is horrible. Plus I can add stuff to the queue on my computer and that doesn't show up in the queue on the bluray. Sony/Hulu's efforts for hulu are far worse than Sony/Netflix. Watching and searching netflix on the player is really easy and intuitive.

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