Streaming video subscriber numbers approach those of premium TV networks

By on January 21, 2014, 8:30 AM
netflix, streaming, hbo, subscribers, streaming video, showtime, members

There’s little doubt that the future of home entertainment lies with streaming outfits like Netflix and Hulu but some might be surprised to learn that it’s happening at the expense of some of the most popular premium television networks.

According to a new report from The NPD Group, streaming video services realized a four percent increase in membership over the past two years while premium channels like HBO and Showtime collectively lost six percent of their subscribers during the same period.

The firm also noted that premium channels and streaming outlets are approaching the same subscriber rates. Specifically, 32 percent of households in the US currently pay for at least one premium television channel while 27 percent subscribe to a video streaming service.

It’s worth mentioning that The NPD Group didn’t flat out say that consumers are dropping premium channels in favor of streaming outfits but it was certainly implied. But what exactly is drawing so many customers to streaming services?

There’s likely a ton of factors at play including a massive library of content, affordable pricing and the convenience of watching when and how users want. And according to Russ Crupnick, SVP of industry analysis at The NPD Group, the fact that streaming services are now producing original content of their own is certainly helping as well. Netflix has done really well with original content thus far and 2014 will likely be no different with a second season of House of Cards already in the pipeline.

User Comments: 4

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1 person liked this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I have TimeWarner cable with Turbo internet/all digital HD channels, my lady and I use Netflix/Hulu and other forms of online streaming WAY more then we watch cable TV. It seems like your watching more commercials then you are your shows, and it drives me insane.

I understand advertising and its presence, but Adblock on chrome and things like Netflix are just too good (DVR's are cool too). You spend more of your time watching what you want, not commercials from some classless ad agency doing everything to get your attention. .

Timonius Timonius said:

'But what exactly is drawing so many customers to streaming services?'

The greater illusion of freedom in our entertainment choices.

1 person liked this | 9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sorry HBO, but I just don't have the time to sit on the couch for hours and hours waiting for a show I like to come on when I can just hit play and stream it now on Amazuluflix. TV on demand on my schedule, now that makes a lot of sense.

1 person liked this | SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

There are other services like Crackle that have their own content too. I have no ties to Crackle at all, but I'd be pissed if I worked for them and was working my ass off to produce original content and trying to sign some former big actors (Kevin Bacon) and yet never get mentioned when Netflix gets all kinds of credit.

Anyway, the complete lack of value offered by cable tv companies is why this is happening. If I want HBO, I have to max out the cable offerings of my ISP/Cable TV provider (same company, smallish local one) and then ON TOP OF THAT I have to add in a premium movie subscription. I'm looking at ~$140 a month. I can have 8Mbps down for $45 a month and pirate everything (commercial free even). The only thing that isn't 'better' by NOT SUBSCRIBING to cable TV is sports.

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