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Nielsen says almost 40% of US consumers use Netflix

NetFlixUS research and ratings firm Nielsen says that 38% of Americans now “use or subscribe to” Netflix – a significant increase on the 2012 figure of 31%.

Netflix’s chief rival Amazon registered a 13% usage rate, according to Nielsen, compared with 7% last year.

The findings were released in Nielsen’s latest Cross Platform Report, which also revealed that 45% of Netflix’s US subs base said they watch its heavily marketed original programmes.

Binge viewing of multiple episodes of series happens more on Netflix than other services, according to the research, which shows 88% of Netflix customers watch more than three episodes of a series in a day. That proportion falls to 70% at Hulu’s premium service Hulu Plus.

“This [trend for bingeing] is reinforced by consumers’ desire to curate their own content line-up. About 58 percent of these users prefer to view shows when they do not have to abide by schedules other than their own and can watch several episodes consecutively,” Nielsen noted.

The number of Americans using the core Hulu service increased to 18% this year from 12% in 2012. The Hulu Plus totals were 6% and 4% across the same measurement period.

In terms of devices used to stream content on Netflix, 44% of users were using a home computer, a slight decrease on the 44% reported for 2012. There was a sharp increase in the proportion of users watching Netflix via a mobile phone, with 23% saying they view content in this way. The proportion watching via a connected TV also increased to 17% from 12% last year.