A new analysis of viewing data indicates that Netflix, the top streaming service, will have a larger audience, on a 24-hour basis, than any of the big 4 broadcast networks within a year, Variety reports.
The story cites an analysis by FBR Capital Markets, with the caveat that the comparison is “not apples-to-apples.” Variety notes that the report by FBR analysts Barton Crockett and Chase White “is meant to be a barometer of the relative popularity of Netflix to traditional TV nets.”
The analysis is based on Netflix’s reported 10 billion hours of video streaming by users in the first quarter of this year, which translates to almost two hours per subscriber per day.
“The FBR analysts calculated what Netflix’s Nielsen rating would be by dividing the two-hour figure by 24 hours, then multiplying that by the number of Netflix U.S. subs as a percentage of households,” Variety reports. “That would give Netflix an overall rating in Q1 of 2.6, on par with ABC and NBC. And given that Netflix is growing usage at a compound annual growth rate of more than 40% — while broadcasters are on average declining — that means the streamer will have a larger 24-hour audience in one year than any broadcast network.”
Variety notes, however: “Nielsen TV ratings cover, at most, up to seven days of VOD and DVR viewing — and exclude online-video views, which networks say are an increasing part of the pie. Moreover, TV networks provide a different blend of content, such as live sports, that Netflix doesn’t. And anyway, Netflix doesn’t care about ‘ratings’ of individual shows, given that it doesn’t sell ads and has steadfastly refused to disclose anything but general data about viewing.”