Netflix’s biggest rival is YouTube

In the fight for America’s attention, Netflix Inc.’s closest streaming competitor isn’t Amazon or Hulu. It’s YouTube.

That’s according to a report from measurement firm Nielsen, which found that consumers spent 19% of their TV viewing time on a streaming service in the fourth quarter of 2019. That’s double the 10% level in early 2018.

They spent 31% of those streaming hours on Netflix, 21% on YouTube, 12% on Hulu and 8% on Amazon, according to Nielsen.

While Netflix’s dominance in streaming isn’t a surprise, the findings show that Google’s free, ad-based video platform still commands a big share of viewing time — despite subscription services producing expensive dramas to attract viewers. The report also offers a look at how popular Amazon.com Inc.’s video service is in the U.S.

The report also offered an upbeat sign for streaming services that haven’t entered the market yet, such as Comcast Corp.’s Peacock and AT&T Inc.’s HBO Max. Nielsen found that 93% of U.S. consumers plan to either increase or keep their existing streaming services. In other words, the market may not be saturated yet.

But their desire to spend is limited. When asked what was most important to them about a streaming service, their top response was price.

Netflix versus YouTube

Now read: Netflix now lets you disable autoplay previews

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Netflix’s biggest rival is YouTube