Netflix and Hulu: How consumers use the services | EW.com

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Crunching the Hulu and Netflix numbers: What -- and how -- you're watching movies and television

Guy Computer

(STUDIO BOX/Getty Images)

If your television and computer are often fighting for your attention (and likely your spouse and children, but until they start streaming episodes of The Office, it’s still really down to just TV and laptop), it’s likely thanks to über-popular video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

But just how much movies and television are you getting from both services, and how exactly are you watching the forms of entertainment, PopWatchers? Nielsen set out to answer that question with a recent survey with 12,000 online participants back in March (look at all those charts and graphs! HIMYM’s Marshall Eriksen would be in heaven!).

Here’s some of what they found:

The majority of Netflix users – disgruntled or otherwise – watch on a TV screen (they calculated 42 percent). And half of Netflix users connect to their sets via video game consoles like Wii, PS3, and Xbox Live. In other words, you’d better start vying for our affections, too, DVD and Blu-ray players!

Not surprisingly, more Hulu subscribers tend to watch online. (Eighty-nine percent watch right from their computer, while only 20 percent connect their computer to their television.) While Hulu is attempting to tread into Netflix territory by offering Hulu Plus at $7.99 a month – the service gives consumers the option of more programming and the ability to watch on their TVs – Netflix still has Hulu beat when it comes to plopping down on your couch in front of your set.

Still, more users watch television shows on Hulu. While only 11 percent of Netflix users utilize the service for their TV options, 73 percent of Hulu users watch TV on Hulu. (Of course, it’s easy to assume that number is attributed to the fact that Hulu offers episodes not long after they air.) When it comes to movies, it’s no real competition: Fifty-three percent of Netflix users take advantage of the service to watch movies (The Blind Side and Crash, mostly) while just 9 percent of Hulu users check out their movie selection. (So, people don’t want to watch Wild Things 2 or Hellraiser 8: Hell World? Go figure.)

While it’s not a terribly surprising survey (maybe because I, too, watch my Netflix DVD rentals on my television while I work diligently at my desk watch TV shows at my computer via Hulu), it is fascinating to see how – and where – people are getting their entertainment. (Hey, it could be Walmart soon enough.) Tell us, PopWatchers, is the way you enjoy Netflix and Hulu similar to those of the stats from this study? Let us know in the comments section below!

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