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Maybe Netflix original shows really aren’t that popular

Maybe Netflix original shows really aren’t that popular
The Walking Dead [Photo: Gene Page/AMC]

When it comes to content, cord cutters and other so-called OTT viewers (aka people who use streaming services) aren’t as forward-thinking as you (or they) might assume.

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At least, not according to a new survey of 2,002 U.S. OTT consumers by global ad exchange OpenX. The company partnered with The Harris Poll for a new report, which they claim is the most robust to date on streaming service consumption trends and preferences. Turns out, OTT viewers like reruns (Friends, The Office) and Nielsen friendly fare just as much as anyone watching TV with a basic cable hookup.

The top 10 TV shows among OTT streamers are:

  1. The Walking Dead
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Big Bang Theory
  4. NCIS
  5. Grey’s Anatomy
  6. This Is Us
  7. Friends
  8. Shameless
  9. Supernatural
  10. The Office

There’s something funny about that list, and it’s not just that cord cutters and their grandparents share the same favorite show. (‘Sup NCIS?) None of the top 10 shows are OTT originals. There’s no Hulu, no Amazon Originals, and despite Netflix’s massive original content push, no Netflix. People, it seems, may just want to watch network TV and basic cable shows, but simply can’t afford it. Either that, or everyone is too embarrassed to admit they watch NCIS so they guilt-watch it in the bathroom.

Netflix shouldn’t worry too much, though: Other highlights of the survey show that the overwhelming majority of content streamers (86%) use the service, even if they interestingly think that “movies” are the most important video content to have access to–a statistic that should make someone at Netflix’s ears perk up.

While Netflix and Amazon have yet to bring ads to their platforms (and hopefully never will), 54% of consumers would prefer an ad-supported service for discounted or free content over a paid subscription service, even though 72% of OTT users understand there is a trade-off between watching free content and having advertisers use their data to serve ads.

And don’t tell Hollywood directors and IMAX enthusiasts, but 32% of OTT consumers say the screen size has no impact on what type of content they watch or how long they watch, perhaps because they don’t have 43-inch flatscreen TVs in their bathrooms, which is where 30% are watching their streaming content. Finally, don’t tell your boss, but any lapses in productivity could be due to the fact that 21% of streaming content fans watch while at their desk at work.

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