Netflix has been getting a lot of competition lately. Amazon has been producing their own original series for years now, with Hulu and YouTube jumping into the fray more recently. Even Snap and Facebook are getting in on the action! Too bad they’ve got a long way to go — the latest numbers indicate Netflix is still way out in front.
ComScore took a look at streaming habits for the month of April and found that 40 percent of streaming viewing hours went to Netflix. The next three are YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon Video at 18 percent, 14 percent, and 7 percent — 39 percent combined. On average, households watched Netflix 12.3 days out of the month. It all adds up to a whole lot of binge watching, which has become a Netflix staple.
Binge watching is a big deal for Netflix. With so many subscribers watching whole seasons within a single month, they can rack up those hours viewed in a hurry — especially in a good month. April saw whole seasons of Bill Nye Saves the World and the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 come out, along with the now-cancelled Girlboss. With House of Cards dropping in May and Orange is the New Black dropping in June, subsequent months might have skewed even more in Netflix’s favor.
It’s a high-pressure way to go. Hulu has positioned themselves more as a replacement for TV, recently introducing their own streaming TV package that includes CBS — a network many competitors lack. Their access to live TV, something Netflix has stayed away from, gives them guaranteed stable viewership from month to month. Netflix’s approach is more high risk-high reward, depending on a steady stream of hits to keep people hooked. It’s probably why CEO Reed Hastings mentioned that he’d like to try — and cancel — a lot more original shows around the time Netflix cancelled several series, including Sense8.
It has to be a concern, because Netflix doesn’t get all the victories. A lot of the reason Netflix dominates viewing hours is because of a volume — they just have more subscribers. But, per person, Hulu is doing a little better — they see people watching 2.9 hours per day on average, compared to 2.2 hours for Netflix.