Netflix’s decline in viewership time could be due to the fact that newer users may not watch as much video as its early-adopter subscribers, Verto Analytics CEO Hannu Verkasalo told CNBC by email.
“As Netflix grows bigger, it is also gaining mass market consumers into their user base, which decreases average engagement metrics,” he wrote.
The shorter sessions could also mean more subscribers are moving to mobile screens, which traditionally have shorter viewing times. Netflix is now competing against Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube, as they develop more robust video programming, Verkasalo added.
“Netflix is going more and more towards the short-form competition and mobile competition,” he wrote.
And as other companies release their over-the-top TV viewing options and premium original video offerings, Netflix is facing stiffer competition. Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, AT&T’s DirecTV, and Dish’s Sling TV all offer ways to watch TV without a cable or satellite subscription. Meanwhile, others, such as Apple and Amazon, are ramping up original content.
Still, the company remains the leader in viewership time. For comparison, viewers spent 102.8 minutes on Amazon Video and 67 minutes on HBO Go in June, according to Verto Analytics data. It still has 4 times the monthly users as Amazon, and 28 times the number of subscribers as HBO Go, per the company’s analytics.
Netflix declined to comment.
Note: CNBC’s parent company NBCUniversal is a co-owner of Hulu.