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Over-the-top streaming services are on the rise. (Shutterstock Photo)

Streaming services, like Netflix, are revolutionizing the way people consume video content. More than half of U.S. households connected to the internet watch video on at least one over-the-top (a.k.a. not included with cable) service.

According to new data from comScore, 49 million homes in the U.S. accessed at least one of those sites during the month of December. Of those homes, Netflix reached 75 percent, YouTube was viewed in 53 percent of households, and Amazon reached 33 percent. Hulu trailed behind at 17 percent. HBOGo hovered at around seven percent but it isn’t clear whether or not that includes viewers who watched HBO programming as part of their cable bundle.

Of the 25 percent of viewers who don’t subscribe to Netflix, Google-owned YouTube and Amazon’s Twitch are the top streaming sites. Amazon Video comes in third. 


Over-the-top sites are also seeing strong engagement from viewers. Each household watched at least one streaming service for an average of 19 separate days during the month. The average time per day was about 2 hours.

Engagement is a category where Netflix, surprisingly, doesn’t dominate. Sling TV viewers spend the most time with the service — averaging 47 viewing hours a month. Netflix viewers watched 28 hours on average. But it’s not an entirely fair comparison. Sling TV offers a smaller bundle of channels, streamed through the internet but viewed on television like cable. It doesn’t reflect a huge change in viewer behavior from a traditional cable subscription.

In terms of the streaming market share, Netflix still maintains a clear lead. That may be changing though. YouTube and Amazon video are catching up to the streaming king and Amazon is expected to invest a staggering $4.5 billion in video content this year.

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