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TV Networks vs. Streaming: Who's Winning the War?

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! April 30, 2014 at 4:00PM

Though streaming devices dominate the zeitgeist, television is still the top medium by which we consume programming, says a new study.
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Netflix's Reed Hastings.
Netflix's Reed Hastings.

Though streaming devices dominate the zeitgeist, television is still the top medium by which we consume programming, says a new study. But streaming is catching up.

During a 12-week period that ended March 31, YouGov interviewed some 20,000 US consumers over the age of 18 to find out which networks and streaming services they turn to for programming. The results? Not too surprising.

When it comes to adults, TV networks are still ahead, but younger demos favor streaming over television (see infographic below). And per this study, Netflix was the only streaming service to see an increase in consumers, whereas competitors like Hulu, Redbox and Amazon -- which launched its own set top a la Roku and Apple TV earlier this month, stagnated or dropped.

The networks surveyed include NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS as they scramble to keep up with Netflix, Amazon and HBO's roster of classy adult programming. Netflix and Amazon entered a heated race for premium content in April when Amazon launched an exclusive multi-year deal to stream a wealth of classic HBO shows already available on HBO Go. Yahoo, meanwhile, has joined the fray, with new original comedies from executive producer Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids") and Mike Tollin ("One Tree Hill").

As streaming service gains increasingly aggressive competition from within, how will television networks keep apace? 

Streaming

This article is related to: Netflix, NetFlix, Amazon, VOD, VOD/Streaming, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.