Netflix Isn’t Stealing Viewers From Regular TV

Todd Rigney - Author

Jul. 29 2013, Updated 1:51 p.m. ET

Contrary to popular belief, Netflix isn’t stealing viewers away from regular TV.

Although you might be watching a metric ton of shows and movies on the streaming service, chances are you’re still tuning in to catch your favorite programs on broadcast television. In short, you’re probably spending more time in front of the TV than ever before.

According to a study by TiVo, Netflix isn’t hurting networks at all. Instead of substituting the streaming service for broadcast television, they’re actually just supplementing their viewing habits with the subscriptions.

After collecting data from 9,956 TiVo subscribers in May, analysts revealed that there was really “no significant difference” between those folks who subscribe to the streaming service and those who don’t.

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“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,” the TiVo study explained.

This really isn’t news to Reed Hastings. The Netflix CEO currently envisions the service as an additional form of entertainment, not unlike cable television or HBO. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his sights set on taking down the competition in the future.

“While we are passing HBO in domestic members in 2013, it will be several years before we are peers with them in terms of Original programming, Emmy awards, and international members,” Hastings explained in an essay earlier this year.

He added, “It wouldn’t be surprising to us if HBO does their best work and achieves their highest growth

over the next decade, spurred on by the Netflix competition and the Internet TV opportunity.”

Netflix may eventually take the place of network television, but it would appear that’s not happening anytime soon. The next time you hear NBC, ABC, CBS, or any other broadcaster complain about Netflix stealing their viewers, remember what you learned from the recent TiVo study.

Have you replaced regular TV with a Netflix subscription?

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]


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