In the escalating battle between online video streaming, two major players, Netflix and Hulu (News - Alert), are revealing important differences in their regular users’ watching habits.
A new study by television research company Nielsen has found that fully half of Netflix streaming service subscribers are using video game consoles – Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Xbox, Nintendo’s Wii or Sony’s PlayStation 3 – to watch movies, television shows and other content.
Nielsen posted the results of the study on its blog.
A large majority of Hulu watchers, however, are choosing their computers, with 89 percent of users picking their PCs or laptops to stream television shows from the service. Only 42 percent of Netflix watchers choose their computers to watch content. In addition, one-fifth of Hulu users and 14 percent of Netflix users also report that they stream by connecting their computer to the TV, says Nielsen.
The study was conducted in March via online interview of 12,000 people.
As for what they’re watching, nearly three-quarters of Hulu users primarily watch TV shows, reported the Associated Press (News - Alert), which isn’t surprising, since that’s primarily what Hulu broadcasts. Netflix, though it offers television show content, is more movie-driven, with just 11 percent focusing their viewing on TV shows. Slightly more than half of Netflix users watch mainly movies.
When it comes to watching movies, at least, it’s pretty clear that Americans want their content on their television, and they’re using the handiest media around – often video game consoles – to do it. Online digital streaming content like that from Netflix can also be directed to a television via Blu-Ray players, TVs with Internet access and special boxes from companies like Roku or Seagate (News - Alert).
What is pretty clear from all of this is that Americans are watching streamed online video content in massive numbers. In May alone, more than 15 billion videos were streamed, said Nielsen, which is a record.
This should sweeten the pot for any suitors considering purchasing Hulu, such as Apple, which has made noises to that effect. Hulu’s current owners, Disney, News Corp (News - Alert)., Comcast Corp. and Providence Equity Partners, are reportedly encouraging bidding for potential buyers.
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Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell