Paid Streaming Services Take Hold: Study

More than half of U.S. homes pony up for over-the-top video
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WHY THIS MATTERS: The Deloitte study suggests paid streaming’s rises are not confined to younger viewers.

Paid video streaming services are now squarely nestled in the mainstream.

For the first time, more than half (55%) of U.S. homes subscribe to paid, internet-delivered video services, up an astounding 450% since 2009, according to Deloitte’s latest Digital Media Trends Survey.

Paid streaming also has a slight edge over free streaming video services, Deloitte found.

Those findings are based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers spanning several age groups — from Generation Z (age 14 to 20) to “matures” (71 and older) and everyone in between.

The survey, based on data collected in November 2017, found that U.S. consumers watch 38 hours per week of video content, 39% of which is streamed, and collectively spend $2.1 billion per month on subscription video-on-demand services.

Deloitte’s new study also sheds more light on how streaming is affecting the traditional pay TV world and contributing to the growing cord-cutting trend. Some 63% of U.S. homes still take a traditional pay TV service, but that figure has dropped by about 12% in recent years, the firms said.

Tied in, the pay TV “value gap” is expanding in the digital age, as consumers now expect to be able to watch any content they want on the device of their choice.

While paying for channels consumers don’t want remains a core issue with traditional pay TV, cost remains the biggest reason, as 70% said they feel they get too little value for their money, and 21% said they don’t watch enough TV to justify the expense.

However, the majority of consumers said they keep pay TV because it’s bundled with broadband. That’s true among all age groups studied, but highest among baby boomers (57%) and matures (63%).

Deloitte’s latest study also coined an age group it calls “MilleXZials,” a hybrid of three groups — Generation X (35-51), Gen Z (14-20) and millennials (21-34), that has seen similar media behaviors, and a clear indicator that younger generations aren’t solely driving these trends.

That combined group, the study found, is more apt to binge-watch TV shows, with 96% multitasking while watching TV.

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