Netflix is becoming as much a staple of the American home as cable TV — even more so.
In the first quarter of this year, the number of US Netflix subscribers overtook the number of American cable TV subscribers for the first time, according to a recent study by Leichtman Research Group charted for us by Statista. While Netflix has rapidly gained new subscribers, cable has been slowly losing them.
To be sure, Netflix has a ways to go to outpace all traditional multi-channel pay TV services. If you added subscribers to satellite services like DirecTV and phone-based systems like Verizon’s FiOS to cable subscribers, Netflix would trail far behind.
Even setting that aside, Netflix’s gain isn’t necessarily cable’s loss. Netflix and cable offer access to different things, so plenty of people subscribe to both. And it’s worth remembering that many of the same firms that offer cable TV also provide the internet connections consumers use to tune in Netflix.
But Netflix’s milestone is yet another sign of the growing appeal of streaming video.