OTT subscription service adoption continues to increase in the US, with new data from Parks Associates revealing that 76% of broadband households now subscribe to at least one OTT service, up from 72% of households for the same quarter in 2019.
Similarly, a new report [download page] from Hub Entertainment Research comes to a similar result, with 78% of the 2,000 US TV viewers (ages 16-74) with broadband reporting that they have at least one paid streaming subscription.
Unsurprisingly, Netflix still boasts the largest number of subscribers of all the streaming services, although it is worth noting that its numbers appear to have stagnated at 63% of respondents. Netflix is followed by Amazon Prime Video, which has experienced an increase in subscriptions from 37% in 2019 to 42% in 2020.
What may be more surprising is that more respondents say they subscribe to Disney+ (31%) than to Hulu (28%), which could potentially lead to a change in what are considered to be the Big 4 streaming services.
OTT Churn Increased in 2019
There is a lot of available research on the wave of consumers cutting the cord, largely due to a shift towards streaming services, and what cord-cutting means as far as losses for major pay-TV providers. But that doesn’t mean that OTT services themselves are immune to churn, as well. Separate research from Parks Associates shows that OTT service churn hit 35% in 2019, up by 25% in 2018.
Although the reasons for canceling an OTT service vary, a few of the reasons cited by respondents were related to cost. These factors include the need to cut back on household expenses, the service raising its price and the promotional price for the service ending. This shows that despite the popularity of streaming services, there is a limit to how much money customers are willing to pay for them.
With cost being a factor for many households, more people are turning to ad-supported video-on-demand services (AVOD). Indeed, Hub Entertainment Research’s data shows that 40% of adults are now using AVOD platforms compared to 33% who did so in 2019.
Choosing what services to give up can also be complicated. Parks Associates found that Netflix subscribers would find it more difficult to give up their service than would Hulu or Amazon Prime Video subscribers. In fact, 64% of Netflix subscribers say they would find it difficult to give up the service, including 47% who say it would be very difficult.
Self-Isolation Measures Influence Streaming Subscriptions
The coronavirus and the resulting stay at home measures put in place across the US have led to an increase in the time people are spending with streaming services. Hub Entertainment Research’s survey found that self-isolation measures correlate with higher levels of subscription streaming services. While 6 in 10 adults (61%) that are not self-isolating and do not have children at home say they have a streaming subscription, considerably more of those that are self-isolating (82%) or that are self-isolating and have children home (94%) report paying for at least one streaming service.