Netflix now has better programming than HBO, according to new a survey

Netflix has kicked HBO out of the top spot for best original programming, according to an annual streaming video survey by Morgan Stanley.

On Monday, Morgan Stanley released the results of its sixth annual survey of the video streaming industry. And for the first time in the survey’s history, Netflix moved into the number one spot among non-cable (“over-the-top”) services and premium networks (like HBO and Showtime).

The survey measured only original programming from non-cable and premium networks, not traditional TV networks or licensed programming. It included 2,501 adults from the U.S.

The percentage of the population that ranked Netflix’s original programming number one rose from 23% last year to 29% this year. HBO came in second at 18%, while Showtime, Hulu, and Amazon all hovered in the 4-5% range. Starz lagged at about 2%.

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Netflix has been spending aggressively on original content in 2016, and Netflix executives have characterised it as the best investment for the company moving forward. Netflix will release 600 hours of original content this year, including 31 original shows.

This strategy seems to be working to snag and retain subscribers. About 45% of Netflix members surveyed by Morgan Stanley cited originals as a driver of their subscriptions, up from 34% last year.

And research by AllFlicks
, a site that tracks Netflix’s catalogue, showed that Netflix’s originals get better “star ratings” on average than other Netflix content (such as TV shows licensed from legacy networks). Netflix originals have an average rating of 3.87 stars (out of 5), higher than the 3.47 stars “other content” averages.

Originals are, however, expensive to produce. And the move deeper and deeper toward original content might be one reason why Netflix’s US catalogue has shrunk by 31.7% since the start of 2014.

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