Registration is required to view this post by analyst Richard Greenfield, which extrapolates from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ comment that “Netflix monthly viewing exceeded 1 billion hours for the first time ever in June” to conclude:
Adjusting for distribution, among households with Netflix, Netflix would have been #1 watched network overall including broadcast and cable (up from top #3-#5 in Q4 2011).
That isn’t a fair comparison for all sorts of reasons, some of which he acknowledges, but still! Actually, along those lines, the most interesting observation Greenfield makes is this one:
Netflix is a seasonal business. As television watching is seasonal (mostly based around the traditional television season) so is Netflix, with Netflix benefiting when traditional TV content is weakest meaning summer/winter.
Increasingly, delayed viewing must be factored in by networks trying to decide which shows to retain and which to reject, Mr. Moonves said. He pointed to how many viewers were added by “Hawaii Five-O” each week: more than 2.4 million. “That is a big, big number,” he said.
What the “live+7” performance does not do is make more money for the networks. The accepted system of advertising sales continues to be based on what is called a “commercial+3” rating: that is, how many viewers watched the commercials within three days of a show’s first broadcast. (Advertisers do not want to pay for viewers who skip through all the commercials.)
New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Americans spent an average of 2.75 hours watching TV each day last year, down from 2.82 hours in 2010. (I think the likeliest explanation for the decline is simply that Americans are working longer.) The tables in the link above provide a breakdown of TV watching and other leisure activity across a range of demographics, the most striking of which is age. Americans between 25 and 34 years old, which includes myself, spend the least amount of time watching TV, and it grows steadily from there with age. That’s been roughly true for a decade, but it’s hard to predict whether my generation will eschew TV over time or pick up the habit as we get older. And let’s not even touch the question of how to define “watching TV.”
While the vast majority of American homes still have functioning television sets, more than one million no longer meet Nielsen’s definition of a “TV household:” those that have at least one television set and a cable, satellite or antenna connection.