Study: SVOD Still Picking Up Steam

Trend driven by consumer aversion to ads, access to quality content

The demand for subscription video-on-demand services is showing no signs of slowing down.

The amount of time U.S. consumers are spending with those services has risen sharply over the past year, Hub Entertainment Research found in a new study that also looked at areas such as ad-skipping and OTT service account sharing. The ongoing rise in SVOD consumption is due to a combination of consumer aversion to advertising plus an expanding library of quality content, Hub Entertainment Research principal Jon Giegengack said.

And these new options present “relatively low risk” to the consumer given their library sizes alongside monthly costs that don’t break the bank, he added.

Hub, in a TV Redefined study that surveyed 1,608 U.S. TV viewers, found that Hulu is seeing the biggest increase in this area, ahead of SVOD rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Hub also found that consumers tend to embrace platforms that allow ad-skipping, with 86% of DVR users saying they fast-forward through ads, while 27% said they expect shows on a network’s TV Everywhere app to be ad-free. Some 34% said the inability to skip ads in a TVE service is a “major frustration.”

The on-demand trend continues to drive up binge-viewing behaviors.

Sixty-one percent of respondents said they binge view (watch three or more episodes back-to-back) frequently or occasionally, while 44% lean toward compressed season viewing (watching more or all of a season in a short span).

About 43% said they frequently watch a show that lets them watch all episodes at once (simultaneous release).

The study also focused on account sharing, finding that two-thirds of viewers 18 to 34 engaged in the practice, with most saying they both give and receive account credentials.

Netflix is the most-shared account type across all age groups, ahead of HBO Now, Amazon Prime, Hulu or a pay TV account.