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Netflix and Hulu: different platforms, different use

A recent study, Nielsen showed that online video streaming is on the rise in the United States. In May 2011, Americans streamed more than 15 billion videos, up 2% from April. With that trend in mind, Nielsen Online conducted a survey – with more than 12 000 Internet users – focusing on the use and attitudes for online video streaming services, particularly Netflix and Hulu.

Results showed that both platforms are used and watched differently. The majority of Netflix users report watching streaming videos on a TV screen, whether it’s by using a game console(which half of them do with their Wii (25%), PS3 (13%) or Xbox Live (12%)), connecting a computer to the TV (14%) or with an Internet-connected TV (11%).

On the other hand, for Hulu users, watching directly on a computer is the dominant way of viewing streaming video content: 89% of Hulu users watch directly on a computer, while 42% of Netflix users report watching on their computers. As for the use of more modern screens like mobile phones, iPads, Google TV/Apple TV, both Hulu and Netflix users tend to use them equally.

However, Hulu and Netflix users are viewing different types of content: Hulu is more for TV buffs while Netflix is targeting movie lovers. Nearly 73% of Hulu users primarily watch TV shows, compared to 11% of Netflix users. On the flipside, more than half (53%) of Netflix users primarily watch movies, while 9% of Hulu users say the same. Finally, twice as many Netflix users than Hulu users watch both movies and TV shows equally.

For the complete survey results, click here.

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