I’ve been accused at times of being “hyperskeptical,” so forgive me if this post seems a little cynical, but I have a beef with the way a new study is being spun in reports at several different media outlets today. The study, called “Netflix Not Cannibalizing Traditional TV Viewing” is being covered on sites like Deadline as if that headline alone were the entire story.
It’s not. The report actually comes from TiVo Research and Analytics, and it would be more accurate to say that of the 9,956 TiVo owners/subscribers polled, most of them use Netflix as a way to augment their traditional TV viewing rather than replace it.
Mind you, I have nothing against TiVo. I swore by mine until I dumped cable for Dish. And I have no problem with the way the report is presented on TiVo’s site. The data seem thorough, the research is clearly laid out, and although the quote may be a little too broad in its conclusions, TiVo is making it pretty clear here that it’s talking about TiVo subscribers, not your average household.
Of course, that’s the only metric TiVo can actually measure. But when you read headlines stating, “Netflix Doesn’t Cannibalize Traditional TV Viewing,” understand that it’s not quite that clear cut. Would the same hold true of all Netflix subscribers? Netflix subscribers who typically stream via media boxes without a cable tuner built in? Netflix subscribers who do most of their viewing via a gaming console? I seriously doubt it.
And yet, there are some interesting trends revealed in the study. Of TiVo subscribers who also have a Netflix account:
- Households who reported viewing “House of Cards” watched 85% more HBO than non-Netflix households.
- “House of Cards” households watched Showtime’s “Homeland” 125% more than those who don’t use Netflix.
- Netflix households viewed Showtime’s “Homeland” 26% more than those who don’t use Netflix.
For more where that came from, head on over to TiVo’s website and read the rest of the report.