Industry observers have blamed over-the-top streaming services for contributing to what is now a cornucopia of quality programming for which there’s not enough hours in the day to watch.
But when it comes to watching everything available on the small screen, viewers are giving it their best shot, according to a Horowitz Research study.
A third of over-the-top viewers say that they are watching more TV overall than they did five years ago, according to Horowitz’s recent Multiplatform Content and Services, Wave 2 2015 survey.
Services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are fast becoming the first choice for viewers when they turn on the boob tube. One-third (31%) of viewers surveyed say they turn to Netflix when they first turn on the TV, slightly below the 34% who say live TV feeds from cable and broadcast networks are their first choice.
OTT services are the first platform of choice for more than half of 18-to-34-year-olds, further showing that streaming content from OTT services continues to dominate millenials’ viewing habits.
And the OTT services are giving viewers a lot of new original content to stream. Netflix will add new series such as Fuller House, a reboot of 1990s sitcom Full House; the Judd Apatow comedy Love; a new Marvel-themed series, Luke Cage; and hip-hop themed drama The Get Down later this year to its core shows, including Orange Is the New Black, the fourth season of which will debut in June. Netflix has also renewed women’s jailhouse dramedy Orange for three additional seasons.
Hulu this year will roll out the big Stephen King miniseries 11-22-63, about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; The Path, a project from Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman); and new dramas starring Hugh Laurie and Jeffrey Donovan.
Amazon, coming off consecutive Golden Globe Award wins for comedy series Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, will bring back sophomore shows Bosch and Catastrophe this spring.
Given the myriad quality programming choices available to viewers, it’s not hard to foresee a continual increase of overall TV viewing — and, arguably, a decrease in time spent sleeping.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.