The results of our recent survey suggest Netflix is not simply the most popular streaming service—it is virtually synonymous with streaming in general, joining the ranks of brands like Band-Aid, Jello, and Kleenex as eponyms for a product.

Our team at asked 300 internet users what they stream, when they stream, and how they stream. The results show that Netflix dominates the market, and they also reveal some surprising viewing patterns.

If you stream, you stream on Netflix.

Over 99% of the people we surveyed said they use a streaming service. Netflix led the way with over 43% of respondents saying they use the service. That was nearly double the second-place service, Hulu, which is used by over 23% of those surveyed. Amazon Video came in third with 20%. Out of the 300 people we surveyed, only two said they don’t use streaming services at all.

Streamers love Netflix originals.

Our survey asked people to list their favorite shows to stream on Netflix. The top two shows were both Netflix original series. Orange Is the New Black topped the list and was listed among people’s favorite Netflix show more than twice as many times as the second-place show. Coming in at number two was Stranger Things.

Fuller House, the Netflix original sequel to Full House, also made the top five. Ten of the top twenty-one shows on Netflix were Netflix originals, including 13 Reasons Why, Ozark, The Ranch, Narcos, House of Cards, Daredevil, and The Defenders.

The 5 Most Popular Shows on Netflix

1.) Orange is the New Black
2.) Stranger Things
3.) Shameless
4.) Fuller House
5.) The Walking Dead


Although one survey question specifically asked about favorite shows to stream on Netflix, several people responded to that question with shows that aren’t on Netflix. People might not always know which streaming service offers which shows, but among these surprising results were shows like Game of Thrones and Rick and Morty. This comes as a surprise, considering these shows have enthusiastic fan bases you would expect to know every last detail about their favorite shows, including where to watch them.

These misaligned answers may suggest that people don’t distinguish between streaming on Netflix versus streaming in general. When a brand name becomes synonymous with its product, it’s called an eponym, and Netflix may be approaching that status, following in the steps of “Kleenex” and “Band-Aid.” How long before we start referring to all streaming as “Netflixing”?

The Top Shows on Each Streaming Service

general favorite shows graphic

Netflix is not enough.

For most of the respondents to our survey, one streaming service just wasn’t enough.

58% use more than one streaming service

35% use three or more streaming services

18% use four or more streaming services

Streamers eagerly await Stranger Things and Game of Thrones.

According to our survey, the two most anticipated shows to stream are Stranger Things and Game of Thrones.

Stranger Things season two is slated for release in October 2017. That same month Game of Thrones is expected to start shooting its eighth and final season. The official release date for the final season of Game of Thrones has not been announced, but it is expected to be late in 2018 or early in 2019.

What do I watch next?

The most lopsided results we saw in our survey were the answers to a question about what streamers do when they run out of new episodes of the show they’re streaming. A whopping 77% said they go straight into finding another show to watch.

The streaming services have decent suggestions for what to watch next, but for a second opinion, check out this What to Watch tool from Just enter a few shows you know you like and it will suggest others you’ll probably like.

What People Are Watching (By Age Group)

Favorite Shows by Age

Men and women of different ages stream differently.

The top 3 streaming devices

streaming devices graphic
Above, we identified the top 3 streaming devices. Apple TV, gaming consoles, and smart TVs also appeared in the survey results.

The rise of the mini-binge

With all the talk of hit shows being binge worthy, we were surprised to learn than only 14% of people surveyed typically watch a full season at a time. Most, 53%, watched only two to four episodes at a time while 15% said they watch just one episode at a time. 18% watch six to eight episodes at a time.

These percentages show that binge watching doesn’t necessarily mean endless hours of vegging out on the couch. It usually consists of a reasonable few hours per binge: a mini-binge.

Men vs Women binging habits

Weekdays are for watching.

While 49% of people said they viewed streamed programing almost every day, we were a little surprised which days they did the most viewing. Despite people typically having more time on weekends than during the workweek, most people said they stream the most during the week.

73% of people said they stream mostly on weekdays

27% of people said they stream mostly on weekends

Streaming time is family time.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of people said they watch streaming shows with their family, spouse, or partner. Only 27% said they stream alone. An additional 11% stream with friends or roommates.

Who Do You Watch With: Men vs. Women

Combining the binge data, the day-of-the-week data, and the family data paints a picture that doesn’t fit the cord-cutter stereotype. According to our survey, the average streaming customer isn’t a lonely couch potato who binge-watches the weekends away. The reality looks more like cost-conscious families enjoying a few hours of entertainment after work.

Tell us how you stream video in the comments below, and share this article with your friends so they can join the conversation.

More streaming resources:

Although 85 percent of U.S. households have a pay TV subscription, the industry is declining. As a group, the top 10 U.S. pay TV providers lost more than 400,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2015; only one of the top 10 increased its subscriber base during that period. The rate of growth in the pay TV industry fell every year since 2006, and has been flat or shrinking since 2012. Conventional wisdom is that one of, if not the, biggest reason for this decline is the growth of online streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu. It’s definitely true that as pay TV subscriptions fell, Netflix subscriptions rose. With 59 percent of U.S. households subscribing to at least one video streaming service, the industry hasn’t caught up to pay TV yet, but if current trends continue, it will. Will we see those trends continue? People may be dissatisfied with pay TV as a whole, but new data from research firm Parks & Associates’ OTT Video Market Tracker indicates people aren’t entirely satisfied with online video streaming providers, either. Data from this study shows a high churn rate (the number of subscribers who cancel a service divided by the total number of subscribers at any given time) among numerous streaming video services from the smallest to the largest. For example, four percent of Netflix subscribers canceled their account in the previous year. Because Netflix added new subscribers in the same period, this churn rate means nine percent of the company’s current number of subscribers canceled their subscription in the past year. The problem is significantly worse for Hulu, which has a seven percent churn rate. And because Hulu has fewer subscribers than Netflix, that churn rate represents 50 percent of the current subscriber base. These numbers mean that for every two current Hulu subscribers, one subscriber has already tried and quit. As a whole, the streaming industry’s churn rate for the past year was 60 percent. Brett Sappington, Parks & Associates’ Director of Research describes that level of churn as a “huge problem.” Why is churn a problem? Every customer who tries and cancels a streaming service shrinks the size of that provider’s potential customer base. The smaller that pool of potential subscribers gets, the more expensive it becomes to lure new customers. A high churn rate indicates customer dissatisfaction, so the higher the churn rate, the less satisfied people are with the service. If these dissatisfied customers share their opinions with other potential subscribers, streaming providers’ potential pool of customers shrinks that much more. Why are subscribers leaving? Parks & Associates researchers suggest that, in the case of smaller streaming providers, low monthly rates may be prompting people to test the service for a few months and cancel the subscription if they decide it’s not for them. Netflix’s relatively low churn rate means that customers are probably pretty happy with it, but the larger churn rates for smaller services indicate fewer customers consider those providers to be worth the cost. Despite the churn, the fact that so many people are trying streaming video services indicates that they like the concept, even if they don’t always like the execution. It’s also possible that some customers canceled their streaming subscriptions because their Internet connection wasn’t fast or reliable enough for streaming video. If that’s the case, the easiest solution may be to find a high-speed Internet plan that supports streaming. If you’ve tried streaming but were disappointed, you might want to see the broadband plans available in your area, and then give Netflix or Hulu a second chance. Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix all support the use of recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Hulu and Netflix also support Edge, Microsoft’s replacement for Internet Explorer. Although none of these sites recommends the use of one browser over another, it’s possible that the browser you use to go online may be affecting your enjoyment of streaming video. If poor streaming speed or quality is frustrating you, the following information may help. Go Big or Go Chrome If Google Chrome is your browser of choice, you may notice that Netflix video quality just doesn’t seem as good as it should be. As it turns out, this lack of quality has nothing to do with Netflix or your connection speed. As of this writing, Chrome only allows a maximum Netflix resolution of 720p, which is the lowest standard for high-definition video. Most screens can now support a higher resolution, as can Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari, all of which can stream at 1080p. It’s likely that future versions of Chrome will improve this performance but, for now, Chrome may not be the best choice for streaming. Even if it’s your favorite browser, you might consider using another for streaming video. Firefox Gets More User-Friendly One example of an update that can affect your streaming experience is the fact that older versions of Firefox required Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin to play Netflix video. Users attempting to view Amazon or Netflix on Firefox had to download and install the Silverlight plugin. While that process was relatively straightforward, it may have been a challenge for the less tech-savvy who simply wanted to stream their favorite TV shows. However, beginning with Firefox version 38, users should no longer have to do so, making it a better choice for streaming. This update illustrates the importance of making sure you install your browser updates. So the next time it asks, let it update. Check Your Settings Some browsers use a setting called “hardware acceleration” that can cause problems with online performance. This problem seems especially common in Firefox, and is often suggested as a common source of streaming video problems on a variety of different sites. You’ll also find hardware acceleration as a feature in Flash, a software used by many streaming video sites. According to Hulu, changing Flash’s hardware acceleration setting may also improve performance. Many users install a variety of plugins to provide additional browser functionality. Sometimes, though, these plugins can cause as many problems as they solve. One of Chrome’s solutions for troubleshooting streaming video problems is to try viewing the video in incognito mode. If doing so improves streaming video quality, one of your plugins is the likely culprit. Although other browsers don’t recommend this same troubleshooting technique, plugins can be a potential cause of problems in any browser, and disabling or removing them may help. Test a New Browser Two easy ways to see if your browser is the source of your streaming video problems are simply to make sure you have the latest version of your current browser, and trying streaming in a new browser. If you don’t have another one installed on your computer, your current browser should at least prove useful for downloading a new one. You can choose from the newest version of Apple Safari, Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. Because Internet Explorer is now a legacy browser, and Edge is only meant for new Windows 10 machines that should already come with it, we don’t recommend installing one of these onto a computer equipped with the other. Speed Still Matters No browser can do a good job of streaming video unless it has a sufficiently fast connection. If your plan just doesn’t give you the speed you need, find a new one that does. Start by entering your zip code below. [zipfinder] With Netflix positioned to pass HBO in subscribers this year, is this the beginning of the end for cable? Cable television is a staple in the American household. According to Nielsen, 90 percent of American households pay for TV. Seems like a good sign for cable companies, right? That would be the case if that number wasn’t expected to drop 4.7 percent by the end of 2013. This is up from the previous year, where only 3.74 percent of people decided to stop paying for TV subscriptions. What is causing people to drop their cable companies? Streaming.

A Serious Threat

Music streaming and downloading changed the music industry forever. Just count how many CD’s you’ve purchased in the last year. Did anyone think it would be such a threat to the industry? Fast forward a few years later, and we may be headed the same way with the cable industry. When streaming services, such as Netflix, began popping up, I don’t think many saw it as a threat to cable TV. Many used streaming as a service to supplement their TV subscriptions. But times are slowly changing. Netflix is believed to now have 30 million paying United States customers. The significance? HBO, Time-Warner Cable’s popular premium network, has an estimated 28.7 million subscribers. Netflix basically has the same subscription numbers as a premium television network, except with a much larger content library. Netflix gives subscribers the ability to watch what they want, when they want, something cable TV often struggles to do. Most importantly, Netflix doesn’t require a cable subscription. Along with Netflix, Hulu has seen their subscriber numbers grow. Earlier this year, the company announced that their subscriber numbers had doubled from the previous year, standing at four million paid subscribers. Hulu offers over 70,000 full episodes of TV shows that are shown across various TV channels. This is not even including services such as and iTunes offer. Both allow consumers to purchase television episodes, entire seasons, and movies, individually at any time. With so many sources for TV shows and movies, the case for canceling cable service seems to be getting stronger. So strong that a 2011 survey, conducted by Deloitte, discovered that 9 percent of respondents had recently canceled their service. Another 11 percent were considering canceling their service. Why? Respondent said that they knew they could find their favorite shows online. That’s potentially a 20% customer loss for TV providers. Scary.

Cable’s Silver Lining

While Netflix, Hulu, and the rest offer an incredible amount of content, they still don’t offer everything. These services still cannot cater to sports fans. Channels like ESPN, NBC Sports, and regional sports channels are not available, legally at least, through streaming services. For many, this is where going all in on streaming becomes a problem. I know personally, I wouldn’t want to miss out on NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL games. Netflix has also been looking to integrate themselves with cable companies. The company would like consumers to be able to access the service through a cable provider’s set-top box. So while streaming services are being looked at as the cable killer, Netflix is looking to coexist with its fellow media providers.

Can You Cut the Cord?

Seemingly, if you don’t watch sports, you can find whatever you want to watch via streaming. With so many popular television shows available, at less than $20 a month if you subscribe to Netflix and Hulu, it’s hard to justify paying $70 a month for channels you don’t need. Cable isn’t doing itself any favors, with prices continuing to increase. According to CNN, the popular “triple play” bundles of various service providers has been increasing at a rate of over 6 percent every year. If the price difference continues to be this significant, how long can people justify keeping cable? Photo by SITS Girls
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