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.
‘Big Bro’ leads CBS to easy Wednesday win
One very sweet spectrum auction: $86 billion
Salt Lake City: Revving up for the Olympics
Traveler’s lament: ‘I wish I had a Samsonite’
What you need to know about black radio
Tell us, what’s your take on ad agency kickbacks?
Weekend TV: Oodles of Olympic qualifying
Yes, hate watching is a thing and it’s important
BET Awards take a tumble on Twitter
Hispanic TV: ‘El Señor de los Cielos’ flies high
NBC wins Tuesday with ‘Talent’ and trials
This week’s broadcast ratings
Programming blog: What’s canceled and renewed
- Karen Mawhinney, Kat Shafer and Jeff Hoffman rise at Erwin Penland
- Michael Angelovich and Danika Kirvin rise at Zimmerman Advertising
- Chris Watling becomes head of production at Droga5 London
- Nina L. Diaz rises to head of reality programming at VH1
- Paul Ricci becomes head of alternative at VH1
- Rory Levine and Tessa Jordan join CMT
- Mark Cuban hosting AXS TV summer concert series
- Mario Lopez launching Awestruck channel on YouTube
- 'The Daily Show' correspondent Jessica Williams exiting
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: May 2016
This month’s new media traffic data
Associate media director position in LA
Media assistant opening in Northern Virginia
Freelance broadcast planner/buyer available
Assistant media buyer job in Fort Worth
Needed in Louisville: In-house media buyer