Netflix most popular online TV service but cable still king

Among people who pay for online TV, 41 percent use Netflix, but 70 percent still subscribe to cable TV, says research firm eMarketer.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Despite reports of cord cutting, a hefty number of people still rely on cable TV, at least according to a recent poll.

Based on a June 2013 survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers, a report released by eMarketer on Tuesday shows Netflix in second place among all pay TV services, with 41 percent of those surveyed paying to stream its TV shows and movies.

Satellite TV came in third at 26 percent, followed by Amazon Prime at 18 percent, iTunes at 16 percent, and Hulu at 8 percent.

In first place by a wide margin was cable TV, with 70 percent of those polled coughing up cash for a monthly subscription. Cable TV was No. 1 among all of the age groups participating in the survey. But it proved especially popular with people ages 18 to 24, "providing a counterargument to the idea that younger consumers are more willing to cut the cable cord," eMarketer said.

Original programming is one likely reason why cable TV is on top. Among the US Internet users polled, 63 percent said that original content was at least somewhat important in their decision to pay for a particular service.

Of course, Netflix is increasingly gaining a name for itself by launching original shows. Thanks to its "House of Cards" series, last month Netflix became the first online-only service to win one of the marquee Emmy awards , specifically for best directing of a drama series.

Netflix took the top spot in PricewaterhouseCoopers' survey among people who use online TV hosting sites. More than six in 10 of those polled said they relied on Netflix to watch shows. Around half said they checked out the online sites of TV networks. More than a third said they use Hulu, while almost a third said they subscribe to Amazon Prime.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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