Netflix, Web TV popular among students, professors

Netflix provides web-based video streaming that can be played on laptops, TVs and mobile devices.

While the popularity of video-streaming websites, such as Netflix and Hulu, is increasing, traditional cable TV is still the main source of entertainment for people who watch television programming, according to the NPD Group, a marketing research company.

Netflix quickly gained popularity in 2001 when it became one of the first video-streaming websites to hit the market, according to, a Dow-Jones statistics website.

They remained steady in revenue until they introduced their separate marketing model that would split up their video-streaming and DVD-by-mail services, according to

However, its popularity among students and professors is still growing because of the lack of commercials.

“I like to keep on top of what is current on TV because everything is not easily accessible on the Internet,” said Cynthia Burkhead, associate professor of English. “But I also like to sit and watch long spans of TV without interruption.”

She said she likes to use Netflix when she is writing reviews for TV shows.

Other professors use Netflix as their primary source of content.

“The nuisance of breaking away from a story to see advertising is—to me as a writer—insulting,” said Jason Flynn, assistant professor of film and digital media production. “It’s like when you used to sit on grandpa’s lap as he was telling you a story and your little cousin keeps interrupting.”

He also uses iTunes and HBO Go to stream videos because he prefers to watch a season of a show all at once.

“The only thing I watch on TV is ‘The Daily Show,”  he said. “For me, I’ve become accustomed to watching stuff all the way through.”

Some professors don’t see Netflix taking over traditional TV anytime soon.

“I think that, probably, (web-based video streaming) is the future,” said Janet McMullen, associate professor of communications. “How soon? I don’t know. It is definitely being explored now.”

Netflix has been exploring Web-only productions. However, advertising may pose a problem.

“There are very limited productions (on the Web) because people need money to produce TV shows, and advertising drives that,” Burkhead said. “There isn’t a very standard way to advertise on the Web.”

She said producers are using the Internet to develop online communities via interactive websites.

Students said they use Neflix because it’s convenient.

“I’m usually not home when a show airs, so I either DVR it or watch it online,” said Patrick Akers, a UNA student.

Some students even use it as a study device.

“I don’t always get a chance to see a show when it premieres, and Netflix is a treasure trove of goodness for a film and digital media student,” said Andrew Baker, a UNA student.