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Super Bowl LVI TV Viewership Projected to Barely Top Digital Streamers

About 49% of viewers for the pending Feb. 13 Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will use digital media, while 51% will watch the game on linear television, according to new data from Adtaxi, a digital marketing agency. Citing a Jan. 14 survey of 1,127 adults across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age, 64% of respondents chose streaming as their preferred method of content consumption.

Additionally, 46% of respondents said they will interact with various forms of digital media while watching the game: 31% state they will be using social media, 15% will be on a sporting website, and 8% will be using online forums.

Similarly to 2021, the majority of survey respondents said they would be skipping larger social gatherings. Another 43% plan to watch the Super Bowl either alone or with family at home, while 11% plan to throw a watch party, and an additional 11% plan to attend one. The survey also found that only 3% of consumers plan to watch the game from a bar or restaurant. In total, only 25% of Americans plan to watch the Super Bowl outside of their homes.

“With nearly half of Americans (46%) utilizing digital media while watching the big game, it will be important for marketers to prioritize multiple platforms,” Chris Loretto, EVP of Adtaxi, said in a statement. “The key to resonating on these social and streaming platforms will be a voice and strategy that is highly adaptable to changing circumstances and evolving preferences.”

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The survey found that the percentage of Americans still paying for cable services has fallen below 40%. Cable penetration was over 50% just three years ago. Not only is cable losing penetration, but the survey also found that less than half (36%) of respondents turn to cable when they turn on the TV.

In 2022, 33% of respondents said they plan to cancel their cable subscription, up from 31% in 2021 and 28% in 2020. For those wanting to move away from cable, 22% claim they like the option of “binge watching” shows on streaming services, and 27% want to watch content on their own time schedule.

“We can anticipate continued declines due to viewing preferences and cost, the multitude of streaming-capable devices over TV sets in the home, and increased competition directly from streaming services,” said Murry Woronoff, director of research at Adtaxi. “Comcast alone lost 1.5 million TV subscribers in 2021.”

The survey found that 92% of respondents stream some form of video content. The majority do so through either connected TV (64%), followed by smartphone/mobile device (54%) and/or laptop (38%).

According to the survey, two-thirds (64%) of consumers make streaming their default setting — the first thing they check for content. One-third of TV streamers obtain 100% of their video content from such services and 77% of TV streamers get the majority (over 50%) of their content via streaming services.

Notably, due to the pandemic, over two thirds (69%) of respondents said they do not plan to go back to the movie theater if new movies are available via streaming.

When asked what streaming services respondents had used in the past 30 days, 71% had used Netflix, 63% used Amazon Prime Video, 53% used YouTube TV, 44% used Hulu and Disney+, and 32% used HBO Max. Out of all the services listed (30), the majority of respondents (38%) said Netflix was the outlet they use most often followed by YouTube (14%).

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