NPD Group, a research firm based in the United States has just revealed a study that surveyed over 10,600 people to determine how people in the U.S are consuming video online. It examines subscription streaming, video-on-demand (Internet and cable) and digital movies purchased/rented online.

According to NPD’s VideoWatch Digital Tracking service, iTunes is not leading the market in the digital video space and claims despite the fact that customers believe iTunes has the most “current releases available”, they’re turning to Netflix for media, a service that accounts for 61 percent of all downloading and streaming based on NPD’s findings.

The survey conducted between January and late February of 2011, states that Apple only captured 4 percent of customers in the report and was tied with DirecTV and Time Warner Cable. The trio also lost out to Comcast which took second place to Netflix with 8 percent.

While it’s possible to watch Netflix content from Apple devices such as the iPad and Apple TV, the consumer data within the study said that Netflix offers a better “overall shopping experience” and thought that it provided the best “value for price paid”.

Over the last few years Apple has done a variety of things to drive both rentals and purchases including the launch of $0.99 rentals which began last year. NPD’s report also highlights that digital media now accounts for a quarter of all media watched in American households.

We’re interested to hear how you consume media online. Does the subscription based model of Netflix’s service offer more value? Do you use both or solely choose iTunes for new releases?

startuprally2 iTunes carving small percentage of digital video market in the US, survey says