Consumer research from Parks Associates finds 43 per cent of Google Chromecast owners in the US stream video content from Netflix to their TV set every day, a feature heavily promoted during the device’s introduction. The same research found 34 per cent of Chromecast owners stream Hulu to their TV set on a daily basis. The finding underscores the desire by consumers to watch content on their preferred screen and the challenges of licensing content in the digital world.
“Chromecast is giving people in Hollywood headaches right now,” said John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. “All the wrangling over licensing restrictions doesn’t mean much if consumers can simply circumvent them.”
Parks Associates analysts explain that content providers typically license movies and TV programmes for viewing on specific “screens” such as a TV, computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Google’s latest, “screen-shifting” device complicates matters by allowing the consumer to move content from one screen to the next.
“Google Chromecast is making it easier for consumers to circumvent screen restrictions,” Barrett said. “For example, the content from the premium Hulu Plus service is available for viewing on a TV set, but content from the free Hulu service has been technologically constrained to computers. But among those watching Hulu monthly on a TV set via a Chromecast device, roughly 50 per cent are using only the free services from Hulu.”