Study: Half of Netflix's streaming users watch on game consoles

Netflix's streaming video division gives its millions of users access to thousands of movies and tons of TV seasons and episodes. However despite Netflix allowing access to its streaming service on a wide variety of devices its looks like the most popular way to watch videos on the service is on video game consoles. According to a new study by Nielsen, half of Netflix users watch on an Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or a Wii console. Microsoft led the way by offering Netflix's streaming service on the Xbox 360 in 2008 followed by the Playstation 3 in 2009 and the Wii in 2010. Just a few days ago the Nintendo 3DS became the fourth game console to support Netflix streaming.  The study showed that the Wii is the top console for users to watch Netflix with 25 percent followed by the PS3 with 13 percent and the Xbox 360 with 12 percent.

Other Netflix supported devices are not as popular. Nielsen's survey, which allowed its participants to pick more than one device, showed that 11 percent its users watched the service via an Internet collected Blu-Ray player. Only 3 percent watch Netflix via the iPad.

By contrast one of Netflix's biggest competitors, Hulu Plus, is viewed mostly by people watching the streaming video on the PC. Nielsen states that 89 percent of Hulu Plus users watch on their PC compared to 42 percent of Netflix users. In terms of the content that views watch, Netflix seems to have more movie lovers with 53 percent of its users watching its feature film line up. By contract Hulu Plus, which to be fair has a much bigger ratio of TV episodes to watch in comparison to its movie library, has 73 percent of its users watching TV shows.

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Hulu could eventually catch up, if more content becomes available on 'devices'. Right now, a lot of the Plus content doesn't support non-PC devices.

Hulu also took over a year for the XBox 360 release of their client, and released the PS3 version sooner, but requried the Playstation Plus subscription, that PS3 users were not use to, and boycotted a lot of the content that required it.

Doesn't surprise me, especially with the way both Sony and now Microsoft are positioning and pushing their consoles as "media" devices very heavily.

As for Hulu Plus, the reason almost 90% watch on the PC is because they won't let you watch it anywhere else! They just released an iPad app and they've only been on consoles for a short time so far.

I am not a subscriber of streaming because I only have an Xbox 360 and I refuse to get gold just for streaming Netflix. Redbox gets my money at this point and at a savings, we watch aprox. 5-6 movies a month, and two come free on the first Monday of each month, so I pay about $4 and change.

ScottDaMan said,
I am not a subscriber of streaming because I only have an Xbox 360 and I refuse to get gold just for streaming Netflix. Redbox gets my money at this point and at a savings, we watch aprox. 5-6 movies a month, and two come free on the first Monday of each month, so I pay about $4 and change.

Well of course those few bucks to Gold don't offer anything else but the ability to use Netflix.

I wonder if people even check out the XBox Gold features?

Off top of my head: ESPN, Zune, Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter, Voice/Video Chat, Kinect Social features, Last.Fm membership, Live integration features, Software discounts that are 25-50% cheaper for Gold members. And then there is also several hundred games with online play and free content/scoreboards.

Even if ya only might use a couple of these features, it easily pays for Gold.

As for renting 4 Movies a month and supporting RedBox. How about beyond movies, and using Netflix as the example. How much would it cost you to find a TV series your like and start with Season 1, Episode 1, and just watch it as you want, consisting of 30-40 DVDs. Even if you could get this type of content at your RedBox, the cost difference is massive. And there is everything from cartoons to documentaries.

I think people totally don't realize the content Netflix provides for a few bucks.

I admit I pay the Gold, Netflix, Hulu Plus costs. Yet I have more content than my cable provider offers, and it is still 1/5th the cost of a good Cable/Dish bundle.

I truly feel sorry for people that have such a myopic view of what Gold and Netflix and other things that are available to them. Even if you are a content pirate, it is faster to stream a HD Zune or Netflix TV Show or Movie than to download a marginal quality version.

Does anyone else notice the picture quality of the Netflix app looks better on the Xbox/PS3 verses the blu ray players and the built in Internet TV versions?

Not all that suprising to me really. Two of my sisters that own a Wii use it more for Netflix than they do anything else at this point. I was using my PS3 for a while, but since picking up my new sound system I just use that blu-ray player since it's quieter than my PS3.

I'm watching by the Wii, but I'm going to gather all my Wii stuff up in a few days and sell it cause I don't play it no more.. then sell my blu-ray player that SONY refuses to give me firmware that will give me the streaming ability and get another player that does already have it so I don't have to have another gaming console. I got the wii for xmas or I'd not have it to start with... hate gaming on consoles!!