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Wisdom.Applied Wednesday: Streaming Services Reign Supreme

Did you hear? Hulu’s finally joining its streaming competitors by offering a commercial-free experience to paying users. In honor of this new and improved looked, Our Space takes you through what’s driving consumers’ thought processes when it comes to how they choose to watch their stories.

 

Netflix. Hulu. Amazon Prime. The rise of the Internet has brought the rise of online streaming content, and these three major websites are some of the most popular today. Now, as more services join the fray, consumers are differentiating platforms based on price, content, compatible devices and so much more.

 

Netflix is undoubtedly the most well known and widely used streaming service available. Nielsen reports that 36% of US households subscribe to Netflix, compared to just 13% for Amazon Prime and 6.5% for Hulu. In a study conducted by consumer insights firm iModerate, data states that consumers think so highly of Netflix, 20% predict it will replace all other streaming services…eventually.

 

As for Amazon, iModerate found that customers are unable to differentiate between Amazon Prime Instant Video and Amazon Prime shipping. When discussing Amazon Prime Instant Video, 23% of participants in the study talked about the online retailer’s shipping services instead, showing the lack of brand recognition for Prime Membership’s other half. When it came to Hulu, users didn’t like the commercials, and 14% of participants could not even name a benefit of the service. Users typically resorted to Hulu out of loyalty to a specific program, not the platform itself.

 

Compared to Amazon Prime’s and Hulu’s weak brand identities, Netflix is clearly consumers’ top streaming choice. Users talk about “watching Netflix,” as opposed to listing a specific show, showing how the platform itself is driving content and usage. Users are keen on Netflix because of the variety it offers, including the unique original content they produce. At an even larger scope, consumers believe Netflix is reshaping the industry, forcing networks to adapt to their low-cost model.

 

Although these three streaming platforms are some of the most well-known and widely used instant video services, other content providers are joining the competition with their own platforms. HBO, Showtime and Lifetime offer users monthly subscriptions to stream their available content. These three platforms are distinct from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime because the content is aired on their television channels, then available online to paying customers, with the primary advantage being the exclusivity of each channel’s “premium” content.

 

Cable and satellite companies are on high alert with the rise in online video streaming. The Internet has completely changed the way we consume media, and traditional television platforms need to plan their counter-moves to stay relevant. Until they devise a way to attract viewers, people will be binge watching all 9 seasons of The Office on Netflix, rather than NBC.

 

 

Cover Photo Source: JMicic / Shutterstock

 

Katie Schrantz is a Junior Executive at SJG. She will be a senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall, where she is studying advertising with a minor in communication. Outside the office, Katie enjoys catching up on social media, discovering new shows on Netflix, spending time with friends and is an avid reader and devoted coffee drinker.