SVOD viewers in the United States are using slightly more streaming services than a year ago, with viewers churning through platforms less frequently than they were during the first year of the pandemic., according to new data from The NPD Group. This is especially true among households with children below the age of 18.
The number of SVOD services per user in the U.S. reached 4.6 in April 2022, down from the mid-pandemic peak of 5.2 in October 2020, but up from 4.3 in April 2021. The percentage of households with children under the age of 18 stating that they are extremely likely to cancel or stop using these services has increased slightly over the past year, from 8% in April 2021 to 9% in April 2022, but waned since October 2020 when 14% of households made that claim.
SVOD cancellations and declines in viewership are less likely to be driven by switching than they were in early 2021. Today, the leading reason for the churn is that consumers aren’t watching as much as before, with 33% of SVOD viewers making this claim up from 29% a year ago.
Subscription churning and switching is expected to continue, but these data are beginning to suggest that the industry is going to see this subside from the high point. The consumer base that was driving most of the churn is also suggesting that their level of adding and canceling TV services is going to decline.
“These results aren’t surprising when you consider the fact that so many of us were stuck at home during the pandemic with plenty of time on our hands to try the direct-to-consumer SVOD services that had recently launched,” John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, at NPD Connected Intelligence, said in a statement. “While there has been some pulling back over the course of the past year, we’re still above the levels that we were seeing before the pandemic started. During the first two months of 2022, streaming volumes had settled at levels seen between 2019 and 2021. When this all pans out, we do expect to see a net positive environment for the industry.”