Streaming video online is on the rise in the U.S., and how consumers tune in differs greatly across services. According to a recent Nielsen survey, the majority of Netflix users report watching on a TV screen. In fact, half of all Netflix users connect via a game console (Wii, PS3 or Xbox Live).
Conversely for Hulu, watching directly on a computer is the dominant way consumers connect. Eighty-nine percent of Hulu users watch directly on a computer, while 42 percent of Netflix users report watching on their computers.
One-fifth of Hulu users and 14 percent of Netflix users also report that they stream by connecting their computer to the TV. Other over-the-top, Internet-enabled devices, such as Roku Box, Google TV and Apple TV, were also cited as means for connecting with Hulu and Netflix. Respondents were able to select more than one viewing method to best reflect their viewing habits.
Hulu and Netflix users also trend toward different content types. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of Hulu users view primarily TV shows, compared to 11 percent of Netflix users. On the flipside, more than half (53%) of Netflix users watch primarily movies, while 9 percent of Hulu users say the same. Finally, twice as many Netflix users than Hulu users watch both movies and TV shows equally.
Nielsen completed more than 12,000 online interviews in March 2011, focusing on usage and attitudes for over-the-top video, particularly Netflix and Hulu.