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People certainly gravitate to video streaming services for their original content. However, licensed content is also highly important, and new survey data published by Nielsen indicate that two-thirds (67%) of Americans ages 13+ are lured into streaming video by existing shows that they used to watch on broadcast media. This is less of a factor for audio streaming, presumably as programs are not as much of a draw offline for audio than video.

There is another key factor that helps influence both video (66%) and audio (67%) streaming content consumption choices: recommendations from family and/or friends. Marketers have long known the impact that word-of-mouth can have, and friends and family don’t just rate the highest as influencers for streaming content. They are also, by far the biggest influencers when it comes to purchasing decisions, with nearly two-thirds (65%) of adults basing their big purchase decisions on the recommendation of a trusted friend or family member.

It appears the streaming services are also doing a good job at surfacing content that inspires their listeners and viewers to tune in. Audiences report that browsing on streaming service websites or apps is also influential in the choice of video (59%) or audio (52%) content they stream, and recommendations provided by streaming services and apps influence the decisions of almost half of respondents.

Along that line, having a variety of available content is the most important attribute in a video streaming service for nearly 6 in 10 respondents (57%), with easy to use technology (56%), access to movies (52%) and accessibility/search of desired content (51%) also important video streaming service attributes for a majority of respondents.

So what about those individuals who do not intend to start or subscribe to video streaming services? What’s stopping them?

The biggest barrier to subscribing to a video streaming service is that they are happy with their current service, whether it be cable, satellite or fiber optic. But the incumbents need to keep the consumers of tomorrow in mind – a separate study by Piper Jaffrey showed that satisfaction with cable services has decreased with the younger generation, with teens spending only 16% of their daily viewing time watching cable TV.

Meanwhile, one-third (33%) of respondents without a video streaming service said the extra expense is a barrier, and one-quarter (26%) reported not watching much TV or video at all.

Connectivity was also a factor for some respondents, with 18% saying that their live broadcast television has a more reliable signal and another 17% saying they do not stream because their internet bandwidth is limited. Online video service providers are making strides in these areas though: as streaming video quality improves, most providers feel that their quality and reliability will soon match or exceed traditional TV.

To find out more, read Nielsen’s report here.

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