Survey: Almost Half of Consumers Frustrated by Growing Number of Entertainment Subs and Services

Nearly half of consumers (47%) are frustrated by the growing number of subscriptions and services required to watch the entertainment they want, according to Deloitte’s 13th edition of the “Digital Media Trends survey.” Meanwhile, more than half of consumers (57%) express frustration when content disappears from their streaming libraries.

While consumers know exactly what they want to watch (69% of the time), they also expressed frustrations with content discovery across platforms:

  • Forty-three percent of consumers give up on the search for content if they can’t find it in a few minutes;
  • Forty-eight percent say content is hard to find across multiple services;
  • Nearly half (49%) say the sheer amount of content available makes it hard to choose what to watch.

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Consumers are also increasingly wary of how companies handle their data, with 82% citing they don’t believe companies do enough to protect their personal data, according to the study. Conversely, consumers overwhelmingly believe they are responsible for protecting (49%) and owning (88%) their data. Very few respondents (7%) believe that the government should play a role in protecting their data.

While streaming services may be frustrating to consumers, the survey also found consumer dissatisfaction with high volumes of advertising, pushing them away from pay TV.

  • Three quarters (75%) of consumers say they would be more satisfied with their pay-TV service if there were fewer ads, and 77% indicated ads on pay TV should be under 10 seconds;
  • Eighty-two percent believe there is excessive repetition of ads;
  • Forty-four percent of consumers cited “no ads” as a top reason to subscribe to a new paid streaming service;
  • While consumers indicated eight minutes per hour of ads as the right amount, they also report that 16 minutes or more is when they would stop watching.

“With more than 300 over the top video options in the U.S., coupled with multiple subscriptions and payments to track and justify, consumers may be entering a time of ‘subscription fatigue,'” said Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and U.S. telecom and media and entertainment leader, Deloitte LLP, in a statement. “As media companies and content owners wrestle with how to retain and grow their subscriber base, they should not only continue to strengthen their content libraries, quality, distribution and value, but also keep a close eye on consumer frustrations, including advertising overload and data privacy concerns.”

The average U.S. consumer now subscribes to three streaming video services, with 43% of consumers subscribing to both streaming and traditional pay television (TV) services, according to the study, which noted strong growth in streaming video subscription services (69%) and streaming music services (41%). Pay TV remained relatively flat with 65% of U.S. households subscribing, and 29% paying for live TV streaming services. High-quality, original content continues to be a dominant factor in streaming video growth, with 57% of current U.S. streaming consumers (and 71% of millennials, ages 22-35) subscribing to streaming video services to access original content.

The survey also found that 37% of U.S. millennials binge-watch every week, watching an average of four hours in a single sitting. Consumers also continue to spend more time streaming video from their paid services (46%) versus free video streaming services (29%). Consumers are not only binge-watching in high numbers, they are also streaming movies, with 70% of millennials reporting they stream movies weekly, and 40% doing so daily. Social media remains supreme with millennials (54%) in the search for new TV shows.

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