More households are streaming Netflix than any other OTT service in the US, based on data from comScore Inc. This is unlikely to surprise many, given its popularity. But the study, conducted in December 2016, does provide some interesting statistics about OTT adoption and usage in general.
According to comScore, more than 49 million homes (53% of US WiFi-connected homes) are using at least one OTT service. These households use the service an average of 19 days per month, for an average of 2.2 hours on each of those days. Viewing reaches its peak during traditional prime-time TV viewing hours.
Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is the dominant provider, reaching 75% of OTT homes, but YouTube Inc. is not that far behind: It reached 53% of OTT homes. The Amazon Video service from Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) ranked third with 33%, and Hulu LLC was fourth at 17%. There are now 11 OTT services in the US with 1 million or more homes using them every month, according to comScore. (See Amazon, Netflix Forging Ahead With Original Content and We'll Make Buffering Obsolete, Like Dial-Up: Netflix CEO.)
Netflix's domination is also challenged in the area of engagement. While Netflix's users spend a perfectly respectable 28 hours on viewing per month, it is eclipsed by Sling TV , Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s skinny bundle. Sling users watch 47 hours of the service per month -- or 70% more than Netflix -- underscoring the significance of volume over value where content is concerned. This is why I think cord-cutting will have its limits: the pay-TV package (skinny or full-fat) provides a broader selection of content that might not all generate appointment viewing, but, over the course of weeks and months, does offer more than Netflix. Certainly some people consume a limited amount of video, and are only interested in very specific shows that they really engage with, and for them a broader package may not be of much use. But very often a broader base of users watch the least uninteresting content, rather than the most interesting -- and that's a usage behavior pay-TV packages cater to very well.
One-quarter of OTT households do not use Netflix at all. As you would expect, Amazon Fire TV owners are less likely to subscribe to Netflix. Amazon Video tends to be their preferred option, and in fact, YouTube ranks second among those households, with Netflix only in third place. But Netflix leads on every other streaming device.
Hulu subscribers are most likely to also subscribe to Netflix (86%), while less than 70% of YouTube users do so.
ComScore analysts point out that even though OTT is well established in the US, there is still room to grow. About half of all US homes aren't using any kind of OTT service in the average month. That would suggest that there is significant room for more adoption and potentially more services -- particularly those catering to niche audiences.
— Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation