Netflix’s 41% of Time Spent dominates viewing of commissioned & acquired programs

What is Netflix’s share of U.S. viewing?

Last month I reported on Comscore’s June 2021 findings that Netflix (26% market share) and YouTube (21%) dominate viewership on connected TV’s.

The key Comscore measure is ‘Time Spent’.

Here’s the chart:

Misleading

However, the data is misleading if you are a producer, distributor or programmer whose job it is to provide original or acquired programs to the streaming services.

  • That’s because all but a fraction of YouTube viewing is of User-Generated-Content (UGC) – a category that covers videos ranging from kindergarten graduations to fixing your kitchen sink.
  • The ‘Other’ category is also misleading because it includes both niche programing services like Discovery+ and other popular UGC platforms like TikTok.

Revising the Data

  • I decided to narrow the focus of the Comscore data to the platforms’ share of originals and acquisitions.
  • I estimated that 95% of YouTube’s hours of Time Spent, and 66% of the ‘Other’ category are for UGC.
  • Here is the revised chart based on my back-of-envelope assumptions:

Source: Comscore OTT Intelligence / PHC Inc

Findings

  • After eliminating the estimated Time Spent on UGC, Netflix’s share of streamed video jumps from 26% to an even more daunting 41%.
    • That’s 41% of all the time U.S. consumers spend viewing originals and acquisitions on their connected TV’s.
  • Hulu rose from 13% to 20%
  • Amazon Prime: 9% to 14%
  • Disney+: 4% to 6%
  • HBO: 3% to 5%
  • PBS and struggling Peacock: each enjoy a lift from 1% to 2%

Takeaways

  • Netflix dominates the expanding streaming audience.
  • Its position is likely to be sustained based on its spending on new programs, reported to exceed $17Bn in 2021.
  • Netflix funds a huge pipeline of new programs across multiple genres, a strategy that also throws up surprise hits like Squid Game.
  • It’s a formula that Disney+ / Nat Geo, Discovery+, Peacock and the other later-comers cannot afford to replicate.
  • Netflix feels more dominant each day, like Google in the search engine business, and that will intensify regulatory pushback.
  • Netflix has pledged to shine a light on its black box of viewing data, and that will be an indispensable help to producers.

More

  • See my Netflix 2022 guide for available Netflix viewing data snapshots PLUS my unique searchable database of nearly 800 Netflix documentaries.