Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Has ‘Netflix’ hit ‘Kleenex’ status yet?

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. HBO

Google, the name of one of the most successful tech companies out there, isn’t just a proper noun. It’s also a verb that denotes the actual act of searching online for stuff. You hear people everywhere talking about googling, even though Google isn’t the only search engine out there.

Does that mean that, in time, Netflix — or “Netflixing” — will become the equivalent of streaming?

“Netflixing” doesn’t just roll off the tongue like “googling,” right now, and we already have an expression that involves streaming service’s name. That’s “Netflix and Chill, ” and people already use it.

But a new survey form High-Speed Internet reveals that “Netflix is not simply the most popular streaming service—it is virtually synonymous with streaming in general, joining the ranks of brands like Band-Aid, Jello, and Kleenex as eponyms for a product.”

The site asked 300 internet users what, when, and how they stream, and discovered that 99% of them use at least one streaming service. Netflix got the lion’s share at 43%, followed by Hulu (23%), Amazon (20%), and HBO (13%).

Image source: High-Speed Internet

Sure, the study is limited and that 43% share doesn’t seem to support the idea that “streaming” should be replaced with “Netflixing.” But the survey discovered something that’s kind of interesting. When asked what their favorite shows to stream on Netflix, some users mentioned titles that aren’t on Netflix. Even so, for some of them Netflix is synonymous with streaming:

These misaligned answers may suggest that people don’t distinguish between streaming on Netflix versus streaming in general. When a brand name becomes synonymous with its product, it’s called an eponym, and Netflix may be approaching that status, following in the steps of “Kleenex” and “Band-Aid.” How long before we start referring to all streaming as “Netflixing”?

At the same time, Netflix isn’t enough by itself, and almost 60% of respondents use more than one streaming service, and almost 20% use four of them — the results of the study is available at this link.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.