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Streaming continues to grow in US

More than 70% of US consumers have increased their usage of paid streaming services since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey, conducted by TransUnion in November, is a follow up to a report from the firm in May which found that the number of people using OTT services was up by 56%. Of the study’s participants, 55% have cut the cord and are opting for entertainment via the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in place of a cable TV subscription.

Consumers are also spending an average of 3-4 hours a day consuming streamed media.

A large reason for this shift, the report says, is that streaming platforms tend to offer a more diverse content library, with content being highlighted as a more important reason than affordability and convenience.

Unsurprisingly, streaming services are most popular with gen Z and millennial users, with these consumers highlighting affordability. Across generations, 68% said that they would consider adding more streaming services in 2021 should a new service be more cost effective than traditional pay TV.

Matt Spiegel, executive vice president and head of the marketing solutions and media verticals at TransUnion, said: “Covid-19 has upended the entertainment landscape and with it, has accelerated the shift to streamed media. To gain market share, platforms are vying for captive audiences, focusing on how their content can stand out in a growing sea of choices. We can expect factors like content quality, price, and user experience to all carry weight in decisions from consumers about streaming new content through various service providers.”

The report however does warn that the US may be reaching a saturation point for SVOD services. It notes that 44% of consumers are subscribing to an average of 3-5 SVODs, dropping to 7% for subscriptions to 7-10 services. A total of 58% of US consumers said that they would not add new streaming services in the new year, but 67% said that they also have no plans to cancel any of their existing subscriptions.

Spiegel said: “The streaming wars have entered a new phase where it is not only about capturing potential new customers, but there’s also a focus on sustaining and maintaining their existing customer base. While consumers are adjusting to the new realities brought on by the pandemic, there is still a strong appetite for streaming. As those preferences persist, the advertising industry will need to connect the dots and create a better, more accurate view into the devices and people consuming streaming media in the connected home.”

Tags: Transunion