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Netflix growth prompts online viewing boom

The growth of streaming service Netflix has lead to a “three-fold” increase in online long-form video consumption in the US, according to research firm IHS Technology.

NetflixIHS said its analysis of television viewing data, which singled out Netflix as a game-changer, should act as a “wake-up call” to broadcasters.

“Changes in consumption habits signal a need for transformation in broadcaster and pay TV operator strategies as competition for viewership increases,” it added.

On average, individuals spend nine minutes each day watching TV content on devices other than televisions, according to the Cross-Platform Television Viewing Time report.

The growth in online viewing was coupled with “the biggest decline yet” in linear broadcast viewing in the US and UK in 2013, with viewers average daily viewing time falling 11 minutes in the US and seven in the UK. IHS noted that both territories have seen a number of years of decline.

Meanwhile, individuals in the US and UK spent 49 to 52 minutes each day watching ‘non-traditional’ television content, which was defined as DVR and on-demand. Time-shifted DVR continued to account for the largest proportion of non-traditional viewing, though much recent growth has been down to on-demand.

However, recorded DVR minutes declined in the UK and “stabilised” in the US, which IHS saw as demonstrative of viewers using connected platforms such as YouView as conduits for on-demand services.

Overall, the average viewer watched an extra minute of television than the previous year, a statistic IHS attributed to growth in subscription VOD platforms that offset traditional TV losses. Online long-form viewing has grown by six minutes a day between 2011 and 2013, while TV viewing in both linear and non-linear fell by seven minutes.