New study finds little evidence that Netflix is cannibalizing pay-TV customers

In one of the most thorough studies yet on Netflix viewing habits--and more specifically, their effect on pay-TV use--The Diffusion Group found that cable, satellite and IPTV use among Netflix homes declined marginally from 2012 to 2015.

Surveying 2,001 U.S. consumers three years ago, TDG found that 87 percent of Netflix users subscribed to a pay-TV service. Surveying 3,428 consumers this year, the research firm found 84 percent of the SVOD service's customers also subscribing to an SVOD service.

This data is juxtaposed against a more significant increase in the amount of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) streaming done by pay-TV users. From 2012 to 2015, the percentage of pay-TV homes that use Netflix increased from 36 percent to 49 percent. 

Netflix ended 2012 with roughly  27.1 million U.S. subscribers. The company ended 2014 with roughly 40 million users.

With the explosive growth of the leading SVOD service tied to stark recent declines in linear TV usage, the TDG data seems to indicate only a marginal relationship between Netflix use and cord-cutting. More pay-TV homes are using Netflix, but a significantly smaller portion is abandoning pay-TV services. 

"So much for the hypothesis that Netflix use leads to the cancellation of legacy pay-TV services," notes Nick Beyer, TDG analyst and author of the new study, Netflix Streamers - A Consumer Snapshot.

For more:
- read this TDG report (sub. req.)

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