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Why Netflix Is Winning—and How Hulu and Amazon Prime Can Catch Up

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Netflix is clearly the dominant subscription video-on-demand service, but why is it so far ahead of the competition? To find out, consumer insights firm iModerate questioned 2,500 U.S. viewers and found they have a far rosier perception of Netflix than Hulu or Amazon Prime.

Not only do respondents enjoy Netflix programming, they see it as a true pay TV disrupter, able to replace cable or satellite service all by itself: 20 percent believed Netflix could replace other video viewing options. Many predicted it would set a new standard for affordable, on-demand video.

Variety of content is Netflix's biggest asset, iModerate found, with people praising its range of movies, TV shows, and originals. Many of those surveyed enjoyed spending a day binge-watching, either alone or with friends.

While those in the industry might see Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime as more alike than different, the public-at-large doesn't. Respondents were turned off by Hulu's commercials, believing that paid subscribers shouldn't have to sit through commercial interruptions. They see Hulu more as a catch-up service for network TV shows. For Amazon Prime, they don't see any differentiator at all, unsure of what makes it valuable. Many respondents spoke about the free two-day shipping when asked about Amazon Prime. Viewers who had tried Amazon Prime Instant Video called it slow, annoying, and short on value.

The full study is available for free download (registration required)

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