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Study Finds Consumers Have Strong Preference for Netflix

Fern Siegel

Hub Entertainment Research tracks how technology impacts consumers. Its latest study, “Evolution of Video Branding,” conducted in February with 2,105 U.S. TV users 16-74, found interesting results for streamers.

One of the key questions was what network/content distributor consumers would keep if their choices were limited. Four in 10 cited Netflix as an important TV source (39%), ranking the streaming 11 points higher than second-place CBS (28%). That finding breaks down along demographic lines.

Netflix proved essential for younger viewers 16-34, with 53% citing Netflix first by a wide margin. In second and third place: Hulu at 26% and newcomer Disney+ at 25%.

Conversely, Hub found those ages 35 and older cited broadcast networks CBS, NBC, ABC as their top three sources, with Netflix slightly behind their second and third choices, 35% vs. 32%, respectively.

Why is Netflix popular?

One big reason is its production of original shows. Some 57% of overall viewers say that label makes a show more interesting to watch. Moreover, 23% of those polled think Netflix streams the best original shows, surpassing Amazon Prime Video, (6%). In fact, having a proposed original show associated with Netflix upped viewer interest over Fox, CBS and HBO.

Still, consumers are loath to assign any one network as having a significant impact on their viewing. While 25% say it has a strong impact, 22% say the network makes little or no difference, the study found.

“When it comes to viewing decisions, the impact of ‘brand image’ is a lot like the impact of advertising,” stated Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. He noted that while most consumers reject the idea that any particular network influences their decision, “these results demonstrate that brand perceptions play a key role in helping viewers navigate today’s vast TV landscape and decide which shows are at least worth a try.”

The top five outlets cited for which brand produces the best original shows:

  • Netflix: 23%
  • Amazon Prime Video: 6%
  • ESPN: 6%
  • CBS: 5%
  • HBO: $5

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