Since the start of the pandemic, more households have started using OTT video, and the number of hours spent viewing OTT content has also increased. This is per data [download page] from Comscore, which shows that OTT households in June of this year had grown by 22% over January 2020, while the total hours viewed has grown by 21% in that time.
As a matter of clarification, Comscore defines OTT content as “any internet-based streaming content streamed on a device that is not a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.” Based on this definition, the Comscore reveals that 82.4 million homes watched OTT in the month of June, reaching 76% of homes with WiFi — up from 68% in January 2020. During the month of June, the average home viewed 100 hours of OTT content, spread across 17.9 average view days.
What OTT Households Look Like
Examining households viewing OTT content, although households with a household income (HHI) of less than $35K make up the largest share (21%) of OTT viewing households, the data shows that 48% of OTT viewing households have an annual HHI of at least $75K. This includes 8% of OTT households with an HHI of $150K-$200K and 9% with an HHI of more than $200K.
It also looks as though Millennials and Gen Xers make up the largest portion of OTT homes, with 36% of OTT homes including some ages 35-44 and 32% with someone between the ages of 25 and 34. Data from MarketingCharts’ US Media Audience Demographics report shows that these age groups are also among the brackets that are less likely than average to view cable or broadcast TV. Older adults are also represented in OTT homes, with 27% of these homes having at least one person ages 55-64, while 24% have at least one person ages 65+. At the same time, about one-third (32%) of OTT homes have young people ages 1-12.
Viewers Still Flocking to the “Big 5”
A report from earlier this year shows that the number of subscription OTT contracts in the US is greater than that of the US population. At least three of the top 5 OTT services — comprised of Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, Hulu and Disney+ — fall exclusively into this category of paid subscriptions. Per Comscore’s data, all five services have seen viewer numbers grow since January 2020. Hulu has seen the most growth (53%) in monthly OTT households, followed by Amazon Video (37%), Netflix (32%), Disney+ (30%) and YouTube (24%).
The number of OTT services in OTT households has also increased since before the pandemic. As of June 2021, the average OTT household watched 4.9 services, up from 4.4 in January 2020. Even while households add new services, chiseling away at the Big 5’s share of total hours spent viewing OTT content, Netflix still accounts for the largest share (26%) of total hours viewed in June.
- More than one-third (35%) of OTT households have cut the cord within the past 5 years, up from 23% last year.
- Echoing other data that shows more households are embracing ad-supported streaming services, the number of OTT households streaming ad-supported content has increased by 34% since January 2020.
- The number of OTT households with Smart TVs grew by 18%, while those with gaming consoles decreased by 22% over 2020.
- LiveTV accounts for the largest number of hours per month (255; 3-month average April-June) among users, compared to OTT (100 hours per household per month).
The full report can be found here.