Amazon Making Inroads Into Netflix-Dominated Alternative TV Market

November 6, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Connected Device Comparisons | Digital | Mobile Phone | Television

While Netflix remains the dominant provider of paid alternative TV services, Amazon Instant Video is gaining traction with consumers, according to survey results released in November by ChangeWave Research. Among respondents who watch paid internet, TV, and video content, 82% in September said they used Netflix, down slightly from 84% in February. During those 7 months, though, the proportion saying they use Amazon Instant Video grew by almost 30%, from 17% to 22%.

The difference is more stark when looking back over a longer period of time. In December 2010, ChangeWave found that 91% paid for online video content from Netflix, compared to 7% from Amazon. So, in less than 2 years, the proportion paying for Netflix has dropped by 9% points, while those paying for Amazon has grown by 15% points. Interestingly, though, this trend may not be related to satisfaction ratings: 23% of Netflix subscribers are very satisfied with the service, compared to 22% of Amazon Instant Video users.

Notably, 18% of Netflix users said in September of this year that they are also paying for Amazon Instant Video, up from 14% in the previous survey run in February.

Another point of interest: while Netflix dominates the “alternative TV” market, Netflix users don’t necessarily use the service to cannibalize regular TV viewing. In fact, most regular users of Netflix (those who use it on at least one platform monthly) say that their Netflix viewing has no effect on their consumption of various program genres on regular TV, per results from a GfK study released in September 2012.

iPad Now More Popular For Streaming Video Than Blu-Ray

Further details from the ChangeWave Research study indicate that in another market shift, the iPad has become the most popular device used to stream video content, by respondents who own a gadget that allows them to do so. In the September survey, 32% used an iPad to stream content, up from 25% in February. Blu-Ray Players, used by 33% in the February wave of the survey, dropped to 31% usage in September.

Other devices respondents favor to stream video include the iPhone (25%, up from 20%), video game consoles (24% vs. 25%), internet connected smart TVs (17% vs. 16%), Apple TV (13% vs. 9%), and Roku (13% vs. 9%). Of particular note is the fact that Apple manufacturers 3 of those 7 devices – and the percentage using each of those 3 devices to stream content is on the rise.

About the Data: The ChangeWave Research data is based on a survey of 1,115 North American consumers, conducted in September.


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