Sorry Hulu, Netflix still rules the living room

Those days of watching hours of Netflix together may soon end.

Netflix squarely dominates game consoles and other connected devices while Hulu still heavily relies on PC-based streaming. That’s the gist of some new data Nielsen published Wednesday that looks at the way viewers use both video services. It turns out 58 percent of all Netflix users now watch programming on a connected or mobile device, compared to only 11 percent for Hulu. Check out detailed device-specific data in the infographic below:

Two things are worth noting: The difference isn’t as surprising when you take into account that each and every one of Netflix’s 25 million subscribers has access to the service on connected devices. For Hulu, the picture looks a little different, because non-PC streaming is restricted to those who pay for Hulu Plus, which is only about 1 million subscribers to date.

Also noteworthy is how dominant the Wii is in the data, which doesn’t quite match up with data we’ve recently gotten from Sandvine. (PDF) The network management company revealed in a recent report that Sony’s PlayStation 3 console is now responsible for around 30 percent of all Netflix traffic, followed by the Xbox 360 with around 25 percent. Sandvine had the Wii pegged at just 10.75 percent of Netflix streaming. The discrepancy with Nielsen’s data is likely explained because the Wii doesn’t support any HD streaming, which means Wii users consume much less bandwidth.

Regardless of whether Netflix streaming gets dominated by the Wii or the PS3, Nielsen’s data serves as an important reminder that devices like the Apple TV and Google TV don’t matter all that much to the average consumer.

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