Content viewers

Only half of US viewers still subscribe to traditional cable/satellite service, but streaming faces headwinds – Media Play News

Stephanie Prange

Half (51%) of TV content viewers in the US subscribe to a traditional cable/satellite service, up from 63% a year ago, according to the State of Pay TV, OTT & SVOD 2022 report. ‘Horowitz which has just been published. To research.

In 2020, cable/satellite service penetration was 81%.

Meanwhile, the share of TV content viewers who rely solely on streaming continued its upward trajectory, with nearly 4 in 10 (37%) TV content viewers paying for an SVOD service, but not for cable or cable. satellite. This is an increase from 30% in 2021.

Notably, the study also found a slight decline in subscriptions to SVOD services, even as the number of SVOD services has increased over the past few years and the share of streaming versus traditional viewing is increasing. In the 2021 study, 3 out of 4 (74%) of TV content viewers say they subscribe to at least one SVOD service; in this year’s study, 62% said they were subscribers (a further 10% access additional SVODs by sharing/borrowing passwords). This decline is partly due to a decline in Netflix subscriptions.

Meanwhile, the number of viewers using free, ad-supported sources for television content (antenna as well as free streaming services) remained unchanged. Two out of three (66%) say they use these services, tied with the number of subscribers to at least one SVOD.

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According to the study, what is on the rise are the monthly costs consumers pay for streaming services, due to an increase in the number of services available in the market and price increases from Netflix, Hulu Plus Live TV, Disney+ and others. The Horowitz study found that, on average, streaming service subscribers (including those with SVOD and/or vMVPD services such as Sling TV or Hulu Plus Live TV) report spending $75.80 per month on their services , an increase of $26 per month over the average spend reported last year. . And, despite the proliferation of services, 4 in 10 viewers of TV content (40%) in the 2022 study said they “struggle to find something to watch”.

With rising costs, the perception of streaming as better value than cable/satellite is beginning to erode, the study finds. While in 2021, 49% of consumers without cable/satellite service felt they “saved a lot of money” by relying solely on streaming, that number dropped to 39% in the year’s study in Classes.

The study results suggest that churn, already an issue for streaming services, will become an even bigger challenge as consumers become even more cost-conscious, according to Horowitz. Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) SVOD subscribers surveyed said they planned to cancel at least one of their services, as did nearly 4 in 10 (42%) of those who subscribe to a vMVPD.

“It looks like the streaming honeymoon is coming to an end,” Adriana Waterston, chief revenue officer and head of insights and strategy for Horowitz Research, noted in a statement. “What seemed like a fantasy come true – thousands upon thousands of hours of premium content available on demand for next to no money and little to no ads – was never going to be a sustainable business model, considering what it costs to produce and acquire great content. The next phase of this maturing industry will be a reset. We expect to see more advertising in free or low-cost, ad-supported tiers like the one Netflix plans to offer, and more consolidation of services and subscriptions like what just happened with Discovery and Warner Media. Hopefully for the consumer, this translates into cost savings, more predictable spending, and an even better user experience across the board. It will also mean new opportunities for brands and advertisers to connect with audiences in new, innovative and interactive ways. »