NATO: Streaming Video Not Stealing Moviegoers

Theatrical owners, especially trade group National Association of Theatre Owners, have long criticized efforts by over-the-top video services (i.e. Netflix) to shorten the theatrical window.

Their argument underscored the contention that streaming video competes against theatrical distribution and negatively impacts consumers frequenting movie theaters.

So, it was a little unusual when NATO released data from a proprietary survey conducted by consultant Ernest & Young suggesting video streamers are more likely to be avid moviegoers than non-streamers.

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Citing a survey of 2,500 respondents, 80% of whom said they saw at least one theatrical movie and streamed video in the last 12 months, average streaming hours per week was higher among frequent moviegoers than respondents who visited a theater only once or twice.

Respondents who visited a theater infrequently reported an average of seven hours of streaming video per week versus 11 hours of streaming per week for those who visited a theater frequently.

The study found that nearly half (49%) of respondents who didn’t frequent a theater in the past 12 months, didn’t stream video content at all. Another 18% streamed online content for eight or more hours per week.

“The results of this study dispel the common myth that millennials are going to the theater less as they stream more content,” Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a Feb. 11 note. “Actually, quite the opposite appears to be true. There is a positive relationship between theater attendance and streaming volume.”

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