Streaming video subscriber numbers approach those of premium TV networksBy Shawn Knight
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.