Nearly three-quarters of US Internet users watch OTT Video


Joseph O'Halloran

| 06 October 2015

Survey data from eMarketer has revealed just how mainstream an activity over-the-top (OTT) video has become.

The analyst calculates, in its forecast of OTT video viewership, that by the end of 2015 181 million people in the US will have watched video via an app or website that provides streaming content over the Internet and bypasses traditional distribution.

Nearly nine-tenths of digital video viewers in the US already watch video content services like Hulu, Netflix and YouTube in this way, with the latter set to reach 170.7 million monthly video viewers in 2015. This will represent 94.3% of OTT video service users.

Yet despite this dominance from the Google service, eMarketer also notes that other services have lower penetration and much faster growth. Netflix is forecast to grow its US audience by more than 20% this year to 114.3 million, or 63.2% of OTT viewers. Netflix will continue to penetrate the OTT video market, and will reach 71.7% of this audience by 2019. Hulu is projected to overtake Netflix's growth rate again next year, reaching 82.2 million people by 2019. Amazon's video streaming service is larger than Hulu's and will reach 88.6 million OTT video viewers by the end of the forecast period.

Looking in the report at how viewers connect to such services, eMarketer estimates that the connected TV audience will reach 140.5 million this year, with the largest share of connected TV users still getting online via a game console (36.8%).