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You can watch Netflix on any screen you want, but you’re probably watching it on a TV

Most Netflix subscribers sign up on phones or computers. But 70 percent of viewing happens on TVs.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

You can watch Netflix in almost every country in the world, on any device you want. But the odds are very good that no matter where you watch Netflix, you’re going to watch it on a TV screen.

Netflix says 70 percent of its streams end up on connected TVs instead of phones, tablets or PCs.

That number isn’t a shock — Netflix has been clear about the importance of TVs for a long time, and it’s why the company has spent a lot of energy working out integration deals with pay TV distributors like Comcast and Sky — but it’s a good reminder that not everything is moving to the phone.

Netflix isn’t an outlier, either. Last fall, for instance, YouTube said that its live TV service, which it had pitched as a mobile-first offering, was generating more than half of its streams on TVs.

Netflix, which laid out its data at a briefing for reporters today at its Los Gatos, Calif., headquarters, said it often signs up viewers on non-TV devices, which also makes sense. While those pay TV integrations are making it easier to buy a Netflix subscription from your couch, in most cases it will still be easier to do it from a PC, which accounts for 40 percent of signups. Phones account for another 30 percent.


But over time, viewing patterns change. Six months into a subscription, most viewers have moved from their smaller screens to the biggest one in their house.


And just to beat this into the ground: It doesn’t matter what kind of Netflix show you’re watching: Dramas, kid shows, Chris Rock specials all end up on your TV, when you can.


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