Hunter Walk over at Google has a fantastic theory about where viewers are finding the hours in the day to watch Netflix and Youtube.
People watch five hours of TV a day, and you can generally break it down into three categories. The first category is must-see TV, which makes up hour one. Then there’s “nice to see” TV, which makes up hours two and three. And then there’s basically filler — people just sort of hanging out with the TV on, but not really totally engaged.
For now, YouTube and Netflix are focused on hours four and five, just chipping away at the fringes of what people watch. And they’re apparently succeeding, as anyone looking at their growth metrics will be able to recognize. It’s when they start getting into hours two and three that the whole thing gets really interesting.
The article I have taken this from goes on to theorise that Netflix and Youtube among others are like the cable industry in the 80’s, primed to make an original programming swoop and take up more viewing time. My only problem with this, as always, is discovery. People won’t watch new content in a vacuum, and besides word of mouth, these platforms don’t have the marketing budgets to draw people in. I know this will change in time, it’s just a matter of when.