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The Battle for Best Original Content? 79% of Millennials Say Netflix

Long gone are the days of building your schedule around the 9 p.m. showing of some crime drama on a network cable channel. As 21st-century American consumers, we want our entertainment when we want it with the ability to watch multiple episodes in a row, while not having to suffer through commercials. 

In April of 2017, a report was published that found roughly 25 percent of U.S. households will no longer have a traditional cable subscription by the end of the year. The same report found 2015 saw a decline of 1.16 million TV subscribers, while 2016 saw 2.05 million Americans drop their TV subscriptions. The study estimates that 2.11 million more TV subscribers will cut the cord by years end. 

American eyeballs continue to gravitate towards streaming services like Amazon Prime and away from channels like CBS. In the coming years, the big competition will no longer be between network channels jostling for viewership, but rather between original content companies like HBO, Netflix, and Hulu trying to produce the highest quality entertainment.

Who will be the most desired demographic for original content-streaming companies hungry for viewership and positive returns? 


Not only did millennials ride in on the wave of original content with hit shows like House of CardsGame of Thrones, and Dexter, but they are also the largest-living generation in the world. In addition to being fully-immersed in the original content culture, the sheer size of the millennial generation gives them unmatched potential spending power.

In short, millennials will likely control who wins the competition to become top dog in the original content industry. And, according to a new LendEDU poll, there is one clear favorite.  

79% of American Millennials Favor Netflix Over Other Original Content

LendEDU commissioned a poll of 820 millennials that asked them the following question: “Which company has the best original content?”

The absolute majority of millennials, 79 percent, shared their opinions that Netflix delivers the best original content. In fact, Netflix won this poll by 58 percent even when the other three options were combined. ​

“Premium channels,” such as HBO and SHOWTIME, garnered the second most votes with 14 percent of millennial respondents saying the highest-quality original content can be found there. Meanwhile, 4 percent of poll participants preferred Hulu, while 3 percent sided with Amazon Prime.  

It comes as no surprise that millennial consumers strongly believe that Netflix delivers the best original content. A few months ago, LendEDU discovered that 92 percent of millennials either had their own Netflix accounts or had access to friends’ accounts. Netflix’s total assets are valued at $13.6 billion and the online streaming platform boasts 93 million users worldwide.

The point of all these statistics is to show just how globally popular Netflix has become. A main driving force behind Netflix’s popularity is the quality of content the company churns out, which keeps people coming back for more and forking over more dollars.

When it comes to winning the battle among original content companies, Netflix is winning on two fronts against the competition. First, the original content company is already more established and has better user statistics than rivals such as Hulu and Amazon Prime. Second, millennials overwhelmingly believe that the original content on Netflix is unmatched with hits like House of Cards, Orange is the New BlackStranger Things, and Black Mirror

Netflix is already ahead in the race for subscribers and now most young Americans feel that the company puts out the highest quality original content. It appears that companies like Hulu and Amazon Prime are facing quite the steep climb if they ever hope to challenge Netflix’s supremacy.

One of the more interesting revelations from this poll is how more millennials preferred the original content of HBO over Hulu and Amazon Prime combined. Of course, HBO is anchored by the smash-hit Game of Thrones, which seemingly shatters its own viewership record each week. For online streaming services Amazon Prime and Hulu, the outlook looks bleak in terms of creating enough quality original content to compete with a premium channel, let alone Netflix. 

When the data from this poll was broken down further, one interesting factoid stood out that is worth mentioning. When original content preference was broken down by gender, there was not much deviation from the primary datapoint, except for premium channels. 17 percent of males thought that premium channels delivered the best original content, compared to only 8 percent of females. It is tough to put an exact reasoning behind that, but it was an interesting outlier statistic nonetheless. 


The data used in this study was from an online poll licensed by LendEDU and conducted online by online polling company Whatsgoodly. In total, 820 millennials were asked to answer the following question truthfully: “Which company has the best original content?” This poll was conducted from July 6th, 2017 to August 24th, 2017. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are currently 75.4 million millennials in the United States. We estimate that our sample is representative of the population of U.S. millennials within a margin of +-3.42%. 

See more of LendEDU’s Research