Research has for some time suggested that streaming video acts more as a complement to – rather than a replacement for – traditional TV. A recent survey [download page] from IBM Cloud Video lends some weight to that assertion, with respondents indicating that a desire for more content was the leading reason why they initially subscribed to their favorite streaming service.
The survey was fielded among more than 1,000 US adults, two-thirds of whom said that they use a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service. (The latest data from Nielsen, it’s worth noting, puts SVOD services in exactly half of US households, on par with DVRs for the first time.) Asked why they initially subscribed to their favorite service, 38% cited more content, with another 14% pointing to the service’s exclusive content. By comparison, fewer than one-quarter subscribed as a cable substitute (11%) or replacement (12%).
For SVOD users, the services have reached parity with pay-TV in terms of viewing time, per the report. Some 24% said they watching their streaming service more, equal to the share watching cable TV more. The remainder watch both equally.
One factor likely driving time spent with streaming services is the device used for viewing: connected TVs. These are by far the most commonly used device for streaming service viewing, per respondents, leading the analysts to note that SVOD services “are now analogous to television, no different from pay TV.” Indeed, connected TV viewers spend more time with long-form content in general than other device users, and these devices are being used at greater rates for premium digital video and for TV Everywhere. Now, almost 4 in 10 US households own an OTT streaming device, per figures from comScore.
Returning to the IBM Cloud Video study, almost one-third (31%) of respondents say they have ever cancelled a streaming service subscription. Research has shown that Hulu suffers from far higher churn rates than Netflix, and the IBM survey supports that conclusion.
Asked what would make them cancel a subscription, and respondents cited too many ads (27%) first, closely followed by cost (25%). In another nod to the desire for content, 1 in 5 respondents would cancel their subscription if there were not enough shows.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 1,007 US adults conducted in April 2016.