Based off a yearly comparison study of 3,000 consumers conducted by Nielsen, video streaming on gaming consoles is on the rise while the number of people watching physical media is dropping. During 2010, ten percent of Xbox 360 owners watched video-on-demand or streaming services like Netflix through the Microsoft console. That number has climbed to 14 percent in 2011. In a similar trend on the PlayStation 3, nine percent of PS3 owners used the console to watch streaming content during 2010, but increased to 15 percent in 2011. The Nintendo Wii had the most significant growth spurt growing from a fifth of all users in 2010 to a third of all users in 2011.
Increased video streaming usage is likely due to wider availability of more streaming applications like Vudu and ESPN3 as well as increase reliance on streaming content from Netflix and Hulu Plus. Alternatively, physical media suffered on gaming consoles. Viewership of DVD or Blu-ray discs on the Xbox 360 fell by two percent and dropped by five percent on the PlayStation 3. However, total time spent on gaming consoles has increased by about seven percent over the previous year. In addition, time spent playing online games has increased by five percent on the Xbox 360. Sony’s PlayStation 3 saw a three percent drop in online gaming, but offline gaming increased by eight percent over 2010. Nintendo saw a slight drop in both offline and online gaming over the previous year.
One aspect of console usage that dropped across all platforms was listening to music or utilizing the Internet. While all consoles had approximately 11 percent of users utilizing these services during 2010, that number had fallen to approximately four percent in 2011. When it comes to watching downloaded movies or television shows, there’s been very little change year over year. It’s likely that more people are subscribing to streaming content through monthly fees rather than spending money on individual video purchases.