2017 Industry Trends & Audience Analysis
As a growing number of consumers cut the cord, video subscription services have stepped up to meet consumer demand for film and television streaming. Let’s look at the trends and audiences behind the three biggest players in the video subscription game.
It should come as no surprise that Netflix looms large in the streaming subscription industry, pulling well over 1/4 of the entire projected online population.
Netflix’s audience lies mostly between age 25-44, while Amazon Video attracts the Gen X crowd. Hulu has a more diverse age range; although their largest audience is older Millenials (25-34), Hulu shows a surprising level of engagement with Boomers and pulls a higher percentage of young Millenial subscribers (18-24) than the other two services.
Netflix has a relatively even mix of male and female subscribers, perhaps due to the breadth of its audience size and content. Hulu skews very strongly female, with popular shows starring female leads such as the Mindy Project and the Handmaid’s Tale (which is the 6th most-searched “Hulu” term in the last 4 weeks). Amazon Video skews nearly 2/3 male, with suspenseful spy and war dramas like The Man in the High Castle and The Americans.
Each audience has different opinions on advertising—in general, Netflix users tend to express stronger receptivity to product placement.
As consumers move away from traditional cable, search data shows they are weighing different subscription services. Hulu and Netflix have long battled for subscribers, and have the most audience overlap. Searches for “hulu vs netflix” have jumped since 2014 while Hulu Plus comparisons have dipped (Hulu cut their free option, thus “plus” became obsolete).
Amazon Prime Video is a smaller contender, but has steadily attracted searches since the start of 2015. In spit of its modest size, the Amazon Video audience has less overlap with Netflix’s audience than Hulu does, suggesting Amazon Prime subscribers may use their Amazon Video by default and avoid paying extra for any additional streaming services.
Source: Audience data pulled using Hitwise AudienceView between 4/23/2017 – 5/20/2017. Segments based on panel data of confirmed subscribers, plus search terms indicating current subscription (i.e. “hulu login”). Search data pulled using Hitwise Intelligence base don search variations for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and Amazon Prime from 4/16/2014 – 5/20/2017.