One in Four Signed Up for at Least One TV Service During Pandemic

One in four U.S. consumers (28%) said they had signed up for at least one TV service during the pandemic, according to Hub Entertainment Research.

Each of the big four SVOD services has seen a three percentage point or higher increase since just before the pandemic began in February compared to July, according to Hub.

Meanwhile, pay-TV VOD and TVOD saw an increase of six percentage points and three percentage points, respectively, from February to July.

Moreover, consumers said they were likely to continue their same level of streaming TV service viewing, YouTube viewing and broadcast network viewing (especially for news).

“When it comes to the business of entertainment, people clearly intend to continue supporting the streaming TV services they’ve relied on for comfort viewing, the broadcast networks they’ve relied on for news, and the online videos they’ve used for needed distractions,” Peter Fondulas, co-founder and principal of Hub Entertainment Research, said in a statement.

With viewers spending more time watching TV, previews have become a stronger source of TV show discovery during the pandemic, according to Hub. The source is up considerably compared to last year as a method for discovering new shows, while with personal interaction more limited, word of mouth has dropped as a discovery source.

The data cited comes from Hub’s “Predicting the Post-Pandemic” study, conducted among 3,026 U.S. consumers, ages 14 to 74 who watch at least one hour of TV per week. The data was collected in July 2020.

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Report: 55% of 4KTV Homes Watch 4K Content

It is almost impossible not to buy a 4KTV in today’s consumer electronics market. Yet, new data from Hub Research found that just 55% of 4KTV households actually watch 4K content.

Citing an online survey of 5,131 domestic consumers, 47% said they had at least one 4K set, but almost half of respondents said they watched non-4K programming.

In addition, 68% of households have a smart TV, with 69% streaming video-on-demand content. Another 14% of those with a Smart TV haven’t connected the unit to the Internet.

Notably, 54% of Smart TV owners also use streaming media devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV.

“With 4K TV sets, we see the classic case of capability leading content, similar to what was seen with high definition and 3D sets,” David Tice, co-author of the study, said in a statement first reported by Advanced-Television.com.

“With 8K TV sets and ‘Next Gen TV’ broadcast sets soon to debut, manufacturers must be careful that their technological ambitions don’t outstrip the ability of content creators and distributors to serve new platforms — otherwise consumers will tune innovation out.”

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Among respondents planning to buy a 4KTV in the next 12 months, 32% will do research at a retail store, with 42% purchasing at a store. Another 22% said they would purchase online and pick it up at the store.

Separate 27% said they would purchase the 4KTV online and have it shipped to their home.

“People still want to see and touch before they buy, even though they often don’t intend to use new features,” analyst Jon Giegengack said. “This suggests retail partnerships, like the one between Amazon and Best Buy on TV sets, might be a real opportunity for content providers to drive adoption and content.”

Poll: 44% Say Netflix Vital Source of Video Content

While Disney rolls out its branded “Disney Plus” subscription streaming video service for investors, new data from Hub Research finds that 44% of consumers consider Netflix an important source of content.

The research firm’s “The Evolution of Video Branding” study found that the vast majority of respondents from a January poll of 1,692 consumers in the United States chose Netflix over other over-the-top video services for their video content.

Other entertainment sources include CBS (29%), ABC (28%), NBC (28%) and ESPN (24%).

Among younger respondents (16-34 years-old), 59% opted for Netflix, followed by Hulu (26%), ESPN (24%), HBO (17%) and Amazon Prime Video (17%). Among older respondents CBS ranked first with 41%, followed by ABC (37%), NBC (37%), Netflix (35%) and Fox (26%).

Notably, the report found that while respondents were familiar online TV services such as Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue, 80% claimed they were unaware of what each platform’s value proposition was.

Indeed, among younger respondents, simply branding video content “original” was enough to make them consider streaming it. And 69% considered Netflix the best choice for original fare.

“It would be easy to explain Netflix’s strong position as a must-have TV source by citing the sheer variety of its content,” Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “Then again, the same can be said of the variety of shows on broadcast networks. Whether it’s a function of a higher level of show quality or of strong branding — or both — Netflix has managed to set itself apart from networks that offer a similarly wide variety of genre choice.”