Netflix, the world’s largest online movie rental service with more than 23 million subscribers is almost as popular among viewers than cable channels in the U.S. Indeed, Statista’s chart shows the breakdown of paid TV services based on the viewers’ ages in the U.S. As you can see below, Netflix which has been described as “the new television” is particularly popular among the young generation. In the U.S, Netflix has become the second favourite Pay-TV service after cable television. Among those between the age of 18 to 36, 46% choose to be paid TV subscribers while 43% choose Netflix while older generations seem to prefer cable or satellite channels over the online service. This striking results indicates clearly that streaming services have a good future ahead of them.
The growing popularity of Netflix is also changing TV. Last month, Virgin Media announced that its UK customers would soon be able to stream Netflix directly from their cable set-top boxes and be able to go through Netflix content the same way they do for their TV programmes.
What does that change? In order to have access to Netflix, customers will still have to subscribe to the service. What really changes is its access. Netflix will soon be part of the TV experience as we know it today as opposed to an external addition.
The online service company is currently in negotiations with other cable providers. Netflix CCO Jonathan Fiedland said “Having the Netflix app on a set-top box is a natural progression. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible for consumers to enjoy Netflix while cable operators see value, too, because it makes their broadband service more attractive.”
That Netflix will, someday, be as easily accessed on television sets as DVR recordings seems like something close to an inevitability, given Netflix’s stated goals.