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TiVo Research: Netflix not cannibalising traditional TV viewing

July 29, 2013

House of Cards
House of Cards

Findings from TiVo Research and Analytics (TRA), the largest provider of single-source TV viewing and purchase data for advertisers and TV networks, suggest that subscribing to Netflix is not cannibalising the amount of linear television viewing in TiVo households.

In May 2013, TRA – a subsidiary of DVR specialist TiVo – collected 9,956 responses from a survey conducted of TiVo subscribers who have affirmatively opted in to have their set-top-box viewing information collected as part of TiVo’s Power||Watch panel. The topic of the survey was about opinions and behaviours regarding subscription based over the top services and their original programming. TRA observed historical TV viewing data from those households from November 2012 through April 2013 across 28 of the most watched TV networks and benchmarked them against the total universe of TRA’s 1.5 million ‘intab’ TV households.

Key observations from this study include the following:

  • Netflix does not appear to cannibalise traditional TV: There was no significant difference in the amount of traditional TV viewing between the self-reported Netflix and non-Netflix households, nor did either group differ from the overall TV viewing population.
  • Of the survey respondents, 57 per cent stated that they subscribe to Netflix and 18 per cent had watched House of Cards. 50 per cent also reported they subscribe to Amazon Prime and 18 per cent to Hulu Plus. Eight per cent subscribe to all three over the top services.

Netflix households also are heavier viewers of other premium dramas:

  • Households who reported viewing House of Cards watched 85 per cent more HBO than non-Netflix households.
  • House of Cards households watched Showtime’s Homeland 125 per cent more than those who don’t use Netflix.
  • Netflix households viewed Showtime’s Homeland 26 per cent more than those who don’t use Netflix.

Mark Lieberman, CEO of TRA said, “Our data show that Netflix is not currently a substitute for traditional television, but offers a way for TV lovers to watch more of the kinds of programmes they love. The future of television may tell a different story, but as of today we’ve found that the Netflix subscribers in our study are not watching less traditional TV.”

In addition to this survey, TiVo’s Power||Watch panellists have completed four waves of surveys about their OTT subscriptions and viewing behaviours that can be matched to traditional TV viewing behaviours through their set-top-boxes.

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