Netflix reigns over TV-driven SVOD segment
Michelle Clancy | 27-06-2013

TV is propelling subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) viewership, according to The NPD Group, with Netflix continuing to clearly dominate the category.

According to NPD's VideoWatch VOD report, in the first quarter of 2013 the number of viewers watching television shows using SVOD services increased 34%, compared to the same quarter one year ago. NPD's VideoWatch Digital tracking shows Netflix dominating the sector, with a 90% share of video-streaming units during Q1 2013, which was four percentage points lower than last year.

In the TV category alone, which accounts for 80% of streams, Netflix holds an 89% share. Hulu Plus showed healthy growth in 2013, with 10% of TV streams in Q1, while Amazon Prime accounts for just 2% of the overall TV units streamed.

"There's no doubt that Netflix is driving the growth in SVOD, particularly with increased attention to television programming," said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "We are also seeing good gains in the streaming numbers from Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, and while neither pose an immediate threat to Netflix, it is interesting to see which services later adopters will try."

Despite Netflix' dominance, there is more diversity when it comes to streaming choices. In Q1 2012, 76% of SVOD subscribers streamed only from Netflix. In Q1 2013 that figure fell to 67%, while 10% of SVOD streamers used both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and 8% used both Netflix and Hulu.

"Since its launch, Netflix Watch Instantly has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the SVOD market, and the company still has a quite comfortable market-share lead," Crupnick said. "While Hulu Plus and Amazon both still have a long way to go before they come close to catching Netflix, we are beginning to see increasing trial of these services, even among some Netflix users."