Half of U.S. Now Watching Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime - Not Cable

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A new study measuring television viewing habits concludes that nearly half of all U.S. households are now watching a television set connected to the Internet and nearly half of all households now subscribe to Netflix (NFLX), Hulu Plus, Amazon (AMZN) Prime or some combination of the three.

According to the survey from Leichtman Research Group 49% of all U.S. households currently own at least one TV connected to the Internet via separate devices such as video game consoles, Blu-ray disc players, smart TVs and stand-alone devices like Roku, Apple (AAPL) TV and Google's (GOOG) Chromecast.

Overall, the study found that 24% of all adults watch Internet-based video programming on a connected TV at least once a week compared to 13% admitting to watching in 2012 and only 5% in 2010.

The big content service winner in the study was Netflix. Of the 1,211 randomly selected households contacted for this year's Emerging Video Services survey 49% of Netflix subscribers are watching video from the Internet via a connected device weekly, compared to 8% weekly use among all non-Netflix subscribers. Seventy-eight percent of those Netflix streamers say that they're watching on a TV set rather than computer-based device.

Netflix stock was down 1.9% to $422 in afternoon trading in New York.

In addition, the survey found that

  • Netflix subscribers have begun dropping cable and other television services. 80% of all Netflix subscribers also subscribe to a pay-TV service -- compared to 85% in 2012, and 88% in 2010
  • 48% of all non-subscribers to a pay-TV service get Netflix -- compared to 29% in 2012, and 16% in 2010
  • 15% of Netflix subscribers agree that their Netflix subscription is shared with others outside their household
  • 47% of households get Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or Hulu Plus
  • On a daily basis, 31% of adults watch video on non-TV devices (including home computers, mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and eReaders) and 58% weekly -- up from 18% daily and 46% weekly two years ago
  • Including connected TV sets, 34% watch any over-the-Web video daily and 61% weekly
According to Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst at Leichtman Research Group, believes these emerging video services have really "emerged" over the past two to three years. "This recent growth was spurred by Netflix's decision in the third quarter of 2011 to focus on streaming video, coupled with the proliferation of connected TV devices, smartphones, and iPads and tablets."

- - Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

To submit a news tip, send an email to tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's Senior Technology Correspondent.

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