Netflix is notoriously secretive when it comes to releasing viewership numbers, but we assume they’re huge, as Variety reports that the streaming service is now more popular not only than direct competitors like Hulu, but regular old TV as well.
That’s according to a study by Wall Street firm Cowen & Co, anyway, which asked a teeny-tiny sample size of 2,500 U.S. adults the question, ““Which platforms do you use most often to view video content on TV?,” back in May of this year. Netflix was the winner by far, with 27 percent of respondents saying they watched it more than broadcast, cable, another streaming service—or, significantly, in terms of whatever you want to call the generation that comes after millennials—YouTube. Interestingly, 24 percent of respondents (of all ages) who pay for basic cable still prefer Netflix, which makes you wonder why they’re also paying for cable.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the younger the respondents, the greater their dependence on Netflix (39.7 percent of adults 18-34 said they watched it more than any other platform), and the greater the market share for YouTube (17 percent, as opposed to 11 percent across all age ranges). Those two dominated streaming services among that coveted 18-34 demographic, of whom only 7.6 percent prefer Hulu and 3.4 percent Amazon Prime. (“Premium cable,” presumably including HBO Now and Showtime’s streaming app, was listed as a catchall category.)
Keep in mind that this is just a small sample of U.S. consumers; Netflix has been aggressively expanding overseas as well. Perhaps the absolutely insane amount of money (Variety’s projections range between $8 and $13 billion for this year alone) Netflix has been spending on original content is actually...worth it?