Entertainment is the highest-reach digital media category in the US, and it’s becoming a fierce battle for people’s attention and wallets. Indeed, a new study [excerpt download page] from Hub Research reveals that the average household consumes entertainment from almost 13 different sources.
The report notes that competition in today’s market isn’t just between streaming video providers, quoting Netflix’s Reed Hastings, who in 2019 said “we compete with – and lose to – Fortnite more often than to HBO.” (In fact, American’s screen-based leisure time is shifting away from TV and movies and to gaming.)
As such, the survey measured the number of entertainment sources used across 10 categories, ranging from traditional and streaming TV to gaming, streaming music, podcasts, audiobooks, reading, and others.
On average, respondents reported using 12.5 entertainment sources, a figure that rose to 15.5 among those under age 35 and to 16.4 among those with kids in the household.
On Average, 6 Sources Are Considered “Must Haves”
Not all of these sources are considered indispensable, though: roughly half are. Respondents overall claimed that 6.2 sources on average are “must have” sources that their household couldn’t do without. Once again, that figure climbed to a higher average among younger respondents (8.3 for those under age 35) and for those with kids in the household (8.4).
Among users of various entertainment platforms, Spotify ranks highest as a “must have.” Three-quarters of Spotify users rated it as a “must have (invaluable),” versus 25% who said it’s a “nice to have (could do without).” Next on the list was YouTube (69% of users rating it as a must have) and Netflix (68%). Netflix has previously been considered the most indispensable TV programming source, so it’s not surprising to see it top the list of premium streaming video providers.
The analysts note that “platforms with no easy substitute are more resilient,” and that special interest or niche platforms garner strong loyalty, citing high “must have” ratings among users of Crunchyroll and Funimation.
- Fewer than half (45%) of Amazon Prime Video users consider entertainment from Amazon a “must have,” but that figure crosses the majority threshold among those who use at least one additional Amazon entertainment platform, such as Prime Gaming and/or Amazon Music.
- When people have an hour or less time, they turn first to social media, but when they have 2 or more hours, they turn first to big brand subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms.
- When people want to do something “mindless” they first turn to social media, but when they want to do something “deeply engaging,” big brand SVODs are their first port of call.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 3,014 consumers ages 18-74 with broadband in the household.