Netflix Subscribers Watch 11% Less TV Than Non-Subscribers

By Megan O'Neill 

It’s official: Online streaming services like Netflix are drawing us away from our idiot boxes.  According to Nielsen, overall daily television viewing is on the decline, down 1.9% in the second quarter of 2012, and Netflix subscribers are leading the pack when it comes to choosing Internet video over TV.

Todd Spangler of reports that “Netflix subscribers watch 11% fewer minutes of television per day than nonsubscribers — and their Internet video usage is a commensurately bigger chunk of their media diet, according to Nielsen.”

According to Nielsen stats, Netflix users watched 246 minutes of television, on average, in the second quarter of 2012.  They watched 41 minutes on video game consoles, 22 minutes on Blue-ray Disc players, and 12 minutes on other streaming platforms.

Non-Netflix subscribers, on the other hand, watched 276 minutes of television per day, 26 minutes on video game consoles, 14 minutes on Blue-ray, and 4 minutes on other streaming platforms.

Spangler writes, “Overall, TV viewing in the second quarter of this year declined about five minutes per day, or 1.9%, from the same period in 2011, to four hours and 18 minutes (258 minutes) across all television households.  DVR playback increased from 20 minutes daily in the second quarter of 2011 to 22 minutes; video game usage was flat at 12 minutes per day on average.”

Is the decline in viewership hurting the cable operators?  Well, Nielsen also reported that in the second quarter of 2012 about 2.7 million customers cut the cord.  Satellite operators and telcos, on the other hand, picked up 173,000 and 1.2 million customers respectively.

On another note, Nielsen also reiterated the trend towards the second screen, reporting that 40% of tablet and smartphone owners are using their devices while they watch TV.  Nielsen senior vice president of client insights Dounia Turrill says, “Whether used to stay connected through social media sites, check email or engage in mobile shopping, the interaction between what happens on the TV screen and the mobile screen is creating opportunity.”

Do you find yourself watching less and less TV in favor of Internet streaming sites like Netflix?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Image credit: Maxx-Studio via

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.