Netflix conquers Flanders

In less than five years the American online streaming service Netflix has conquered a third of all Flemish living rooms.

Figures from the 2018 Digimeter compiled by the Flemish research institute Imec show that it's above all twenty- and thirty-somethings that use the service to watch Netflix series and films.

Digimeter analysed the behaviour of over 4,500 Flemings.  This research showed that a year ago a fifth of Flemings were watching Netflix.  This figure has now risen to a third.  Nobody can now deny the US company's breakthrough in Flanders.  The increase in the number of users is noticeable among all age categories. Among twenty and thirty-year-olds Netflix has a massive following.  Half of all 34-year-olds watch Netflix, a third every day.

Researchers discovered that Netflix isn't making inroads into existing TV offerings, but its offerings are in addition to.  Netflix is also fuelling change in the way people watch movies and series.  Youngsters don't zap from station to station but from platform to platform.  It's available for a relatively small outlay, ten euros a month, and is easy to use. Prof De Marez of Ghent University warns that Netflix does have one problem.  Its offerings are not unlimited and after six months some people have had it.

Few Flemings are cancelling their general digital TV subscription.  83% of households still have one.  Traditional TV remains a point of reference, but people are adding layers like VRTNU and Stievie.  Still watching TV programmes as they are broadcast is diminishing.  Today less than half of all Flemings are watching live TV while most prefer on demand.  Among 24-year-olds only a fifth watch live TV nowadays.  It's a development that forms a threat to stations that make their earnings through advertising.