Nielsen: massive growth in video titles, but consumers struggling to find what they want

Audiences in key territories now have more than 2.7 million individual video titles to choose from, with multiple channels and services to access, but increasingly struggle to find the content they want, according to Nielsen’s latest State of Play report on the video market.

According to Nielsen, audiences across the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico and Germany now have more than 2.7 million individual video titles to choose from across broadcast, cable and streaming. That’s almost one million more than they had just two years ago. While the number has increased across both linear programming and streaming services, 86.7% of the total now reside on streaming services.

In the U.S., where audiences streamed more than 19 million years’ worth of content last year, 85.8% of TV households have at least one TV-connected device (smart TV, internet-connected device, game console).

Traditional broadcast and cable programming remains the primary option for TV content outside of the U.S., but streaming is gaining ground.

In Australia, for example, 70% of audiences6 say they watch streaming video, with the average viewer watching 1.7 hours per day.

In Mexico, streaming had grown to account for 21.4% of TV usage in June 2023, up from 15.2% in December 2022.

In Thailand, streaming had a reach of 50.7%7 during the second half of 2022, and audiences spent just under an hour per day watching streaming content.

In the U.S., streaming has been the dominant TV option

since November 2022, growing to account for 37.7% of TV usage8 in June of this year.

On the downside,  audiences say they now spend an average of 10-and-a-half minutes searching for something to watch, which is up from nearly seven- and-a-half minutes back in early 2019.

Some 20% say they don’t know what to watch beforehand and couldn’t find something to

watch—so they did something else instead.

Gracenote Global Video Data had a record of more than 39,500 distinct channels for audiences in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico and Germany as of June 2023, with the U.S. accounting for nearly 80% of them.

Separately, there are more than 167 unique streaming video sources, with each representing an individual provider, such as Netflix and Disney+.

Audiences are also scaling back on paid subscriptions.  In the U.S., for example, subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) viewing had fallen to account for 49% of all streaming1 at the end of May 2023, while ad-supported VOD (AVOD) had grown to account for 26%, and MVPD/vMVPD streaming had grown to account for 15%.

Gracenote Video Data had a record of 1,400+ individual FAST channels in its database, with 1,050+ of them available in the U.S.

In the U.S., 60% of time spent streaming in May 2023 was dedicated to programming that first aired on linear channels. That’s up 5.2% from October 2022.

According to Nielsen, the rise of FAST and the decline of exclusivity means that personalisation of services will become more important to retain users, meaning that metadata enrichment is key.

““Right now, there are tons of experiences, but very little personalization,” said Filiz Bahmanpour, VP of product

at Gracenote, a Nielsen company. “Many say that FAST services will need exclusive content, original programming and marketing to succeed, but I think user experience and personalization will be the real differentiators. FAST services need to get the right piece of content and ads to the right user through merchandising, curation and algorithms.”

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