Netflix Streaming Is The Gateway Drug To Internet TV

Nobody likes cable TV, although we all pay exorbitant sums for it to be piped into our homes. That is why the idea of being able to cut that cord (and related bill) and replace it with a variety of streaming video services from the Internet is so appealing. So far, however, you can’t quite yet replace what you watch on cable with Internet TV. But that day will one day come, and the gateway drug to cord cutting and embracing Internet TV is Netflix streaming.

In a presentation put together by J.P. Morgan’s Internet analyst Imran Khan (which also goes into ecommerce and ebook trends) is the slide above, which shows the results of a consumer survey titled “Netflix Watch Instantly subscribers are more likely to consider dropping their cabe packages.” Of those surveyed who stream one to two movies and TV shows a month from Netflix, 47 percent would “consider dropping pay TV,” compared to only 33 percent of non-Netflix subscribers. By the way, the fact that a third of people who don’t even have access to Netflix streaming are ready to ditch cable should worry the industry even more. But once they get into the habit of streaming video from the Internet, the number of potential cord cutters goes up by 14 percentage points.

Netflix may not have the most recent Hollywood films available because of the deals it is striking with the studios which add a 28-day lag to the movies that Netflix gets, but streaming is taking off. Already Netflix streaming accounts for 37 percent of peak Internet traffic during primetime, and you can sign up for a streaming-only subscription.

I have a review-unit Boxee Box, which I only pull out occasionally because most Internet video simply can’t compete with the gazillion channels I get from Verizon FIOS TV. But Netflix is supposed to come to the Boxee Box by the end of the month, and once that happens I can guarantee the amount of Internet TV I am going to watch will go up at least five or ten times. Yes, I can hook up my laptop to my TV in the living room today and stream from Netflix to the big screen, but it is kind of a hassle and I’m too lazy, especially when I am feeling lazy. And being lazy what watching TV is all about. Once I get Netflix to a box always connected to the TV that I can control with a remote . . . oh boy, bring out the popcorn.