Parks: 40% of U.S. Broadband Households Trialed at Least One OTT Video Service During Pandemic

Parks Associates research finds roughly 40% of U.S. broadband households trialed at least one over-the-top subscription video service during the COVID-19 pandemic. These free trials are important drivers to paying subscriptions, and by leveraging data on viewer activities and preferences, providers can personalize their services to improve subscriber stickiness.

Free trials do not apply to ad-supported VOD platforms such as Pluto TV, IMDb TV, The Roku Channel, Shout! TV and Tubi.

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Dallas-based Parks found that 2% of U.S. broadband households that subscribed to an OTT service during the COVID-19 crisis cite a free trial as a key driver for this new subscription. Average monthly spending on OTT video service subscriptions was $16 in Q1 2020. Two-thirds of domestic broadband households that canceled an online pay-TV service would consider re-activating it when live sports content become available.

“The use of data, which moving forward will be better informed with the use of advancements such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, will guide an improved user experience and content offering,” research director Steve Nason said in a statement.

In November, Parks reported that 61% of broadband households subscribed to two or more OTT services as of 3Q 2020, up from 48% the previous year. Forty-five percent subscribe to three or more, up from 27%, and 31% subscribe to four or more, up from 14%. SVOD services cited included Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV+, CBS All Access, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

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