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Report: Movie Watching Down, TV Watching Up on Netflix

While Netflix has made a name for itself with movies delivered to the home — first by mail, then by Internet — a new report suggests that is changing. Movie watching appears to be slowly dropping as viewers opt to stream more TV shows from the service. 

In a survey concluded this past April by Nielsen, the media consumption analysts noticed a distinct shift in Netflix viewing habits. Since 2011, movie watching has gone down 6% while TV watching has risen about 8%.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed that TV shows now account for 60% of all Netflix viewing. That’s pretty hefty, when you consider that in June alone, the company streamed out over a billion hours of content.

There’s a number of reasons that could account for this change in preference. Netflix has, in general, worked hard to secure contracts for television shows and made TV a priority. What’s more, they’ve recently gone into the TV business themselves, with original series like Lilyhammer and the revival of Arrested Development. However, it’s worth noting that Netflix has lost a lot of its A-list movie programming, especially after Starz and the Criterion Collection took their streaming options elsewhere.

Of course, it could just as easily be explained by a single season of a TV series taking up as much time as several movies. With so many complete seasons and series on Netflix, it might be that viewers are just spending more time getting caught up on Breaking Bad or tearfully reliving the magic of LOST.

While its good to see Netflix thriving after a bumpy year, staking out a larger claim in TV content is sure to make Hulu, that other streaming company, more than a little nervous. With both companies pursuing original content in addition to their movie and TV offerings, things might get tense between these giants of vide streaming.

(Nielsen via Wall Street Journal via Techmeme)

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