News flash: Netflix is NOT killing television
It's hurting it for sure, but viewership equates to a mid-size cable network
March 4, 2016
The buzz over Netflix right now is deafening.
People will point to all this attention, and they’ll note the slowly declining ratings on broadcast and cable, and they’ll say that Netflix is doing them in.
But buzz can be deceiving.
While you’d think with all that attention that Netflix’ audience would rival that of the broadcast networks, that’s really not the case, according to a new report from MoffettNathanson.
Not only is Netflix’ viewership relatively modest, but it’s also not causing the demise of traditional television.
So argues Michael Nathanson, an analyst at the research group.
“Currently, Netflix is a source of industry pain, but not necessarily a cause of industry death,” he writes.
Nathanson compares the streaming service to a mid-sized cable network. He says its viewership would equal roughly 6 percent of traditional TV hours, up from 4 percent just two years ago – so no denying it’s growing.
But Nathanson says Netflix is to blame for only about half of the decrease in traditional TV hours last year.
And actually, in some households, especially those with young people, viewers consume more traditional television when they subscribe to Netflix.
The mystery surrounding Netflix’ viewing numbers drives quite a bit of curiosity about the SVOD service.
Netflix refuses to give out actual viewership numbers, releasing only some raw data that analysts and networks mine in an attempt to figure out where it ranks versus traditional television.
That’s led to some widely varying estimates.
Turner recently released a study that suggested Netflix would be the No. 1 network if it aired on TV.
But an earlier NBC study suggested its ratings would be more modest.
So the mystery continues.
Weekend TV: The zombies wrap up their fall run
Another magazine bids farewell to print: Complex
Coming soon from Hearst, Pioneer Woman magazine
New from Google: New York’s holiday windows
Solid but not spectacular numbers for ‘Hairspray’
New from Facebook, a tool testing for fake news
Programming blog: What’s canceled and renewed
Cable overnights: Big decline for Leah Remini show
Yet another suitor lines up for Time Inc.
What’s hot and what’s not in syndication this fall
Struggling Pandora unveils its challenge to Spotify
It’s here: Media Life’s Hispanic Premium Newsletter
Media Life’s Digital Media Transparency Initiative
- ABC ad sales president Geri Wang retiring
- Lydia Polgreen becomes editor at The Huffington Post
- Laura Henderson becomes SVP of marketing at BuzzFeed
- Erin McPherson becomes head of content strategy at Verizon
- Josephine Livingstone becomes culture writer at The New Republic
- Jessica Lichtenfeld becomes associate consultant at Coleman Insights
- Julie Ginches and Glenn Kiladis join ViralGains
- Stephan Horbelt becomes executive editor at Hornet
- Tony Rock hosting TV One's 'The Game of Dating'
- New York Times Vietnam guide Nguyen Ngoc Luong dies at 79
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s top-rated movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s digital traffic data: August 2016
This month’s new media traffic data
Luxury media sales in Chicago
Public relations account supervisor in Atlanta
SEO and SEM manager opening in Pittsburgh
Media supervisor opening in New York
Media buyer/planner position in Madison, WI