U.S. homes subscribe to a lot of streaming video services. How many depends upon the latest research. New data from Altman Solon found that the average number of SVOD services in U.S. homes reached three in 2021 — up from 2.1 services in 2020. Indeed, SVOD subscriptions increased more than 37% annually from 2014 to 2020 according to the survey of more than 5,000 respondents conducted in August.
Meanwhile, live sports remain a large driver for pay-TV retention, with 83% of sports viewers subscribing to pay-TV. Nearly 50% of survey respondents said they still subscribe to pay-TV out of habit, while 34% said it was part of bundled service. The report found that 62% of respondents cited the low cost of online TV as a reason to subscribe.
“Live sports and news continue to attract viewers’ attention and drive the growth or decline of pay-TV and streaming services,” Matt Rivet, analyst at Altman Solon, said in a statement.
The analyst contends that as U.S. viewers move away from pay-TV to streaming, consumer confusion among streaming services and a familiarity with pay-TV remain primary drivers to pay-TV retention.
“[Online TV services] need to re-define their value proposition to retain subscribers as content availability and value for money will ultimately decide the winners and losers in the race for subscribership,” Rivet said.
Solon also conducted a simulation examining five hypothetical scenarios in which pay-TV content options such as sports and news could be found on streaming services. The simulation found pay-TV penetration is expected to drop by 15.6 percentage points, from 69.3% to 53.7%, leading households to save about $5 in monthly bills for video content services.