A recent study by City Investment Research shows that Netflix is still the top dog when it comes to Internet watching of television shows and movies, growing by seven percent between May and December of this year. Popular media-streaming website Hulu dropped by four percent in the same time period.
Netflix’s share of Internet viewers went from 20 to 27 percent, even while Hulu was dropping from 19 to 15 percent. Other Internet viewing providers like, Amazon, Comcast, CBS, and NBC also showed an increase in the share. However, iTunes, the stalwart that it is, didn’t budge in its share of viewing. Apple’s media streaming service held steadfast at a mere eight percent, which is even lower than the “other” category.
It is surprising that Netflix gained popularity with its “Qwikster” debacle, as well as the significant increase in subscription price that caused the company’s stock to plummet in a short period of time. It seems that the general public prefers the reliability of Netflix’s vast selection, easy to use service, and variety of ways to access the Internet viewing.
Apple’s single-digit share of the Internet viewing public speaks to the company’s lack of understanding of what consumers want from their media streaming service. ITunes does not offer any kind of subscription-based usage of its service, unless one counts subscriptions to a specific show’s entire season. Apple would do well to restructure its service to offer a monthly subscription for streaming movies and TV shows. I would pay a monthly service for on-demand access to specific channels, like Comedy Central or The Discovery Channel.
Whatever Apple does, this study shows that the company needs to do something drastic if it wants to compete with other Internet viewing services. What would you like to see made available in iTunes?
[Source: Citi Investment Research]