Think Netflix Dominates TV Streaming? Think Again
It's not Hulu, either.
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What do you think is the most popular online destination for TV junkie cord-cutters? Hint: It's not Netflix.
At least, that's what a recent survey by research firm Frank N. Magid Associates found. The group surveyed some 2,400 individuals about their TV-watching habits, and discovered that only 33 percent of respondents cited Netflix as a source for watching TV shows. Meanwhile, 38 percent said they use YouTube to watch TV.
While some folks may not even be aware that you can, in fact, watch TV shows on YouTube, others rely on the site to watch everything from Jimmy Fallon clips to The Walking Dead. Crucially, the survey did not ask respondents to differentiate between the two. Also worth noting: It didn't ask how much time users spend watching content on each platform.
YouTube's on-demand service has been around since 2011, and has been a go-to source for (law abiding) cord-cutters who want to watch hit shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad (as well as not-so-hot shows like Dance Moms).
"The joke in the industry is it's all babies burping and cats meowing, and maybe YouTube was that," Magid president Mike Vorhaus told CNET. "When they actually go and use it, people are surprised by the breadth of content that's there."
You may also be surprised by the popularity of other streaming video services (or lack thereof). According to the study, Hulu and Amazon Prime were cited by just 17 and 14 percent of respondents, respectively. The only thing that surprises me about that statistic is that Hulu appears to have more viewers than Amazon Prime.
Is that actually true? Well, if you go by unique visitors in the U.S., Hulu is not only more popular than Amazon—it's more popular than Netflix. Last year, Hulu averaged roughly 13.1 million visitors a month, according to Nielsen, while Netflix saw only 11.9 million. Keep in mind, however, that some Hulu shows are available for free, while Netflix content is entirely behind a paywall.
Still, YouTube soars way above the pack with more than 128 million monthly visitors in the U.S. Now, if only they could do something about those noxious commenters.