All-America Economic Survey

Nearly 60% of Americans are streaming and most with Netflix: CNBC survey

Key Points
  • CNBC All-American Economic Survey shows 57 percent of the public has some form of streaming service.
  • Fifty-one percent of American streamers subscribe to Netflix, the survey showed.
  • Thirty-six percent report having both a streaming service and cable or satellite.
Tero Vesalainen | Getty Images

The CNBC All-American Economic Survey finds the nation living the American stream.

The poll of 801 Americans around the country shows that 57 percent of the public has some form of streaming service, compared with 43 percent who do not. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent.

The data confirm the rapid adoption of streaming service by American households, which has propelled the value of Netflix to $124 billion from $63 billion just a year ago. It also underscores the pressure traditional media and cable providers are under from the competition. (Comcast, a cable provider and owner of NBC/Universal, is the parent company of CNBC.)

Indeed, Netflix dominates the streaming world, with 51 percent of American streamers subscribing to the Los Gatos, Calif.-based video giant. A third of the country subscribes to Amazon Prime and 14 percent say they subscribe to Hulu, making Netflix's total greater than the combined percentage of Amazon and Hulu. Roughly a quarter of the nation has two or more services.

Thirty-six percent report having both a streaming service and cable or satellite, while 30 percent say they have just cable or satellite. The so-called cord cutters, that is, those with just streaming service total 20 percent of the nation with 12 percent saying they have neither. (Two percent don't know.)

When it comes to viewing habits, there's a virtual tug of war between the competing media. Thirty-six percent of the public reports watching cable more than their streaming service, and 31 percent say they watch streaming more than the cable, with 29 percent saying it's about the same.

Americans age 18-34 are among the most dedicated streamers, with 48 percent saying they watch it more than cable, including 32 percent who say they watch it much more than cable. Forty-nine percent of Americans aged 50 to 64 say they stream less than cable, including 30 percent who say much less. But streaming services have made inroads with blue collar workers and modest income Americans as well.

And, the data also show that the wealthiest Americans and many in the prime television demographic have both streaming and cable or satellite.