Since 2014, E-Poll has been conducting an in-depth tracking study that examines the attitudes, behaviors, and usage of streaming TV content though both subscription and non-subscription streaming services. It helps answer: Which services are dominating the field? What program types are drawing new viewers to these services? And what are the main drivers to adoption?
Building on our previous efforts, the fourth edition of the study contains comprehensive data on 34 SVOD and OTT services including new entrants as well as the “Big Three” incumbents (Netflix, Amazon and Hulu). In addition to dozens of tables of critical data trends, the report goes deep into the minds of consumers to tell you what they’re thinking and why they’re making the choices they do.
Below are some highlights from E-Poll Market Research’s May 2018 SVOD study – Wave 4:
Viewers overwhelmingly still favor traditional network programming – with a caveat. While Netflix has surpassed broadcast and cable TV channels as the single most essential source of TV programming, traditional network shows remain strong as streaming services rely on BOTH current programs and many of the favorite programming that has been off the air for years.
- Although more people are shifting towards streaming services, a high percentage of streamers (56% Netflix, 39% Amazon, 43% Hulu) regularly view broadcast and cable programs that have been off the air for several years.
- Diverse and original short form programming types like those delivered by YouTube are beginning to flatten out, further emphasizing the continued appetite for traditional programming.
The “Streaming Economy” or the “Skinny Bundle”
The majority of cord-cutters cancelled their TV service because it was too expensive and they were able to watch comparable programming via streaming service alternatives. This suggests pricing will be a large determinant going forward for any video service as consumers make their selections based on price and availability of favorite programming.
- Virtual Multi-channel Video Program Distributors (vMVPD) show no signs of slowing down as the “skinny bundle” or “cable-lite” one stop shop remains popular. The strongest growth in the vMVPD sector to date is Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now.
- We predict that the growth of vMVPD will continue to gain momentum, particularly for providers who include broadcast and cable TV programming in their bundles. Those sources remain “essential” to TV viewers and these services make that access cost effective for the consumer.
One of the unique features of the study is the tracking of attitudes and behaviors of streamers. This data provides viewing preferences of streamers across different demographics to help predict the impact programming has among a consumer’s decision making.
- Preference for delayed viewing over live viewing continues to increase. Nearly half of all streamers prefer to wait to view programs they watch regularly, versus only a quarter who prefer to watch live.
- Over half of respondents say the availability of a full season of episodes at one time makes their viewing experience more enjoyable.
Big Three (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) Subscription Behavior
To get a better understanding of subscription behavior, this report dives deep into the “big three” SVODs to provide concrete evidence behind their success and reveals behavioral trends that have developed since past waves.
- Both Amazon and Hulu saw a significant rise in shared subscriptions compared to wave three while Netflix experienced decreasing shared subscriptions.
- The report includes reasons that drive consumers to subscribe to or start using Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu (paid). The top reason for Netflix continues to be “no commercials”, while Hulu subscribers cite the ability to binge watch as a key motivator to subscribe.
With the growing number of original program from streaming services, our report shows the consumer perception of SVOD original programming compared to both broadcast and cable programming in an apples-to-apples comparison that reveals the value programming from different sources holds among streamers.
- HBO’s Orange is the New Black continues to have the strongest awareness (75%) among original programs tested although Netflix’s Stranger Things now follows close behind with 70% and an even closer margin among ages 13-34.
- Over half of respondents across all big three streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon) consider SVOD Originals “about the same” as broadcast and cable programs.
For more information about the key findings in this report, including specific data on the vMVPDs, please click here or contact Michelle Waxman – SVP Corporate Development as the complete report is now available for purchase.
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