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Almost half (44%) of TV viewers ages 16 and older say that if they could only keep some of the TV networks they have access to, Netflix would be on their list, according to figures [infographic] published by Hub Entertainment Research. This number puts it well above incumbent broadcast and cable networks, but how does it pan out across age groups?

Netflix has an even stronger lead among those age 16-34, with close to 6 in 10 (59%) putting it among their indispensable programming sources. Two other streaming services – Hulu (26%) and Amazon Prime Video (17%) – also make the top 5 for this age bracket.

But among older viewers Netflix drops down the list. TV viewers ages 35 and older are more likely to put CBS (41%), ABC (37%) and NBC (37%) above Netflix (35%) when it comes to their indispensable networks and sources. FOX (26%) rounds out the top 5 for these viewers, who clearly remain attracted to broadcast networks. That’s likely not too surprising given the enduring appeal of traditional TV among older Americans.

These findings align with data from a separate study from Solutions Research Group, which also puts Netflix as the leader among “must keep” TV brands for younger viewers (18-34 year olds), while ABC leads among the population as a whole.

Earlier research by Hub also found that Netflix now tops live TV as the destination for viewers’ favorite shows.

The Power of Original Content

The Hub Research Entertainment study also demonstrates how original content increases viewing likelihood. More than two-thirds (69%) of viewers aged 16-34 and almost half (46%) of those ages 35+ said that the term “original” makes them more interested in a show or movie they haven’t seen before.

It also appears that Netflix is highly associated with original content and that its subscribers have raised levels of interest. Around 6 in 10 Netflix users (63%) said that the term “original” makes them more interested in watching a new show or movie (compared to 40% of non-Netflix users). Additionally, 43% of younger consumers associated the term “original” with Netflix – more than any other option given in the survey.

The weight of original content in viewers’ habits has been seen in multiple other streams of research:

Overall, subscription services get much higher marks for original content than traditional TV. This is likely to be a key differentiator going forward – as content takes precedence over platform or brand, it seems that the network itself is rarely a reason in itself for a viewer’s decision to watch. With the exception of news, respondents were more likely to state (on a sliding scale) that “the network a show is on makes no difference to me” than the opposite.

Further figures can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Figures are based on a January 2019 survey of 1,692 US consumers with broadband who watch at least an hour of TV per week.

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