Overwhelming majority of people watching streaming services still choose Netflix

Source: Netflix

Netflix remains the runaway leader of streaming services, even though it reported a slower-than-expected subscriber growth rate on Monday.

About 52.6 million American households had Netflix service in May, according to new analysis of Nielsen data obtained by CNBC. Amazon was a distant second with 25.2 million homes subscribing to Prime.

The data shows that Netflix is still holding on to its first-mover advantage in the increasingly competitive subscription video-on-demand service market. About half of American households with a television had a subscription to some form of streaming service, according to Nielsen.

That means about 89 percent of all streaming households use Netflix.

Of course, lots of people subscribe to more than one streaming service, choosing from any combination of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or others.

As cord-cutting spreads, consumers will likely spend less on traditional media offerings and more on "internet-delivered content," said Michael Olson, a research analyst at Piper Jaffray. But the future of television doesn't have to be a winner-take-all scenario, he noted in a "Squawk Alley" interview this week.

"I think there's going to be enough of an appetite for people to consume that content that many services can do well in that environment," he said on Tuesday. Olson also said that there appears to be a bit of price sensitivity and that Netflix will likely have to keep membership fees where they are in the near term.

Currently, Netflix and Hulu's most basic plans cost $7.99 a month. Amazon charges customers $8.99 a month for Prime Video.

House of Cards producer: Netflix dominance 'whittled away'
'Binge': What's driving the new media economy
New 'watercooler' moment
Netflix can't hide behind 'ugly quarter': Analyst
Netflix has worst day since 2014

But even the most basic packages for Netflix and Amazon are commercial-free. Subscribers have to shell out $11.99 per month to watch Hulu without advertising.

Besides advertising (or a lack thereof), original programming can also draw subscribers.

Angel investor Jason Calacanis told "Squawk Alley" on Tuesday that another metric of success for these streaming services is the quality of the original programming that they produce. Think of all those people who immediately binged the latest season of "Orange Is the New Black." Calacanis remains very bullish on Netflix as the company continues to invest in content.

Those investments appear to be paying off. Netflix originals bagged 54 Emmy nominations last week; Amazon snagged 16.

Binge on "Binge" with Carl Quintanilla here.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns CNBC parent NBCUniversal, is a co-owner of Hulu.

Clarification: An earlier version of this article contained a mislabeled chart. The name of Hulu's service has been updated to reflect its most recent branding.