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Survey: Most people discover new shows and movies via Netflix

It eclipsed the second-most-popular option, cable and satellite TV.


Michelle Jaworski


It’s easier than ever to access streaming entertainment, but according to a new survey, one particular avenue has emerged as the top mode of discovering new movies and TV shows to watch.

TiVo released its Q2 Video Trends report—a quarterly survey that analyzes the TV industry—where it surveyed 5,340 people located in the U.S. and Canada about their viewing habits. When questioned about how they discovered new movies and TV shows to watch, 38.9% of participants named Netflix as the service they used—more than any other option. 

The second-highest option was cable and satellite TV at 26.9%, and Amazon Prime Video placed third at 25.5%. But in regards to finding individual episodes of TV shows that you already watch, cable and satellite TV flourished at 40.4% versus Netflix at 18.5%.

Free YouTube videos were named the most popular avenue for rewatching shows you’ve already seen.

There is no indication as to what might draw viewers to discovering new TV shows and movies through Netflix versus other means—or even other streaming services. Netflix is churning out a seemingly endless supply of original content on top of its extensive catalog, one that will be even more vital as popular shows it licenses start to leave the service. But along with the movies and TV shows it does license, it can be easier to simply type in what you want to watch instead of being reliant on a TV release schedule.

It does make some sense that while Netflix might be great for discovering new movies and TV shows, it might not be as conducive for keeping up with TV shows or repeat viewings. With very few exceptions, Netflix isn’t in the business of the weekly TV release model; it mostly releases new seasons of TV at once. And with the way Netflix releases new movies and shows, it’s often hard to go for a repeat viewing of something when there are numerous more options to choose from instead.


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