Television viewership declined by 3% in 2015 — and Netflix may be half the reason why, according to a new study by media research firm MoffettNathanson.
“Currently, Netflix is a source of industry pain, but not necessarily a cause of industry death,” wrote the firm’s senior research analyst, Michael Nathanson, according to Variety. The report concluded that Netflix was responsible for roughly 50 percent of the nation’s total decline in TV viewership.
Netflix subscribers in the U.S. streamed 29 billion hours of video last year — representing 6 percent of the total 483 billion hours of television watched. And Netflix’s piece of this pie could rise to 14 percent by 2020, according to MoffettNathanson.
Though the streaming giant’s growing impact hasn’t yet reached fever pitch, it most affected broadcast networks in 2015, Variety reports. For instance, households with Netflix watched CBS 42 percent less than households without Netflix, according to the study. For Fox, ABC and NBC, overall viewership in households with Netflix vs. households without Netflix dropped 35 percent, 32 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
At times, however, Netflix had the opposite effect. Viewership of Disney networks increased in Netflix homes by 11 percent, as opposed to non-Netflix homes. Today, Netflix counts roughly 75 million total users — 45 million of whom are in the US.