According to new data released by ABI Research, the most popular method of streaming Netflix content continues to be through a video game console. The new data also shows that console owners spend a substantial amount of time –seven to eight hours a week– watching online video through their console devices.
"Companies such as Microsoft and Sony in particular are pushing to make the consoles more central to the digital living room,” says ABI digital home senior analyst Michael Inouye, who notes that while Nintendo is behind, it may be expected to make a bigger push into digital video content with its Wii U.
Those numbers change dramatically outside of North America and Europe, the data also show. For instance, the Asia-Pacific region has a low rate of console connectivity (13.1 percent) because most consoles are not sold in China and because PC gaming is more popular in both China and South Korea (6.3 percent connect rate in that country). In the United States, console connect rates are much higher – 38.7 percent, followed by 37.3 percent in the UK, 31.8 percent in France, and 20.6 percent in Germany.
While many analysts have put a lot of stock in the burgeoning mobile device market as a strong way to access streaming services such as Netflix, ABI emphasizes the relevance of the home consoles to the home entertainment experience.
"While mobile devices might soon match the processing power of game consoles, there are a number of issues such as storage and portability that could hinder the transition to mobile," says ABI's Jason Blackwell. "The game console has a higher degree of persistence in the living room, giving more household members access to the device at any time of the day, whereas most mobile devices are designed for portability and a more personal experience."
While ABI's new research isn't all that surprising – several other reports have shown that Netflix is most popular on PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii – the new data shows that the trend is continuing..