We already know that people are watching more of their entertainment content online than ever before. We've also seen Netflix become a major player in the television arena with award winning shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Now it looks like Netflix is on the verge of becoming the most watched television network in the country, or it would, if it were a television network.
Wall Street analyst firm, FBR Capital Markets, has released a report stating that if Netflix were viewed as a Nielsen rated TV network, it would be expected to be the most watched network over a 24 hour period within the next year. While there are a lot of caveats to the previous statement it's still a fairly impressive and noteworthy place for Netflix to be.
While the company releases little data regarding who their customers are and what they watch, Netflix did release some numbers regarding total subscribers and total hours watched for Q1 of 2015. By running these numbers the analysts were able to come up with an approximate Nielsen rating for the quarter of 2.6 which puts Netflix as an equal to NBC and CBS. Since Netflix subscriptions are only climbing, and network TV viewing is declining, the rest is simple to figure out.
The numbers don't take into account people who view network TV shows online, or people who watch shows on their DVR after seven days, since Nielsen does not track those things either, so as an actual comparison the analysis is lacking. But as a measurement of the increasing prominence of Netflix and online viewing in general, it does confirm that the transition to viewing most of our content online is showing no signs of slowing down.