Interpret: FAST Viewers More Tolerant of Ads Than All Streamers

Interpret’s VideoWatch data shows that FAST viewers are more tolerant of advertising overall than all streaming viewers.

They are also more likely to enjoy ads that are interactive.

Interpret found FAST viewers are more likely than all streaming viewers not to mind long ads if they are relevant, humorous or intriguing to them. They  are also more likely to be OK with short ads of 10 seconds to 15 seconds.

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Interpret Research: Fantasy a Top Genre for Premium-TV Subscribers

Prequel series to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” (“House of the Dragon”)  debuted to record audiences on streaming services Prime Video and HBO Max, respectively — and they are in the one of the hottest genres for premium television.

Data from Interpret’s VideoWatch shows that those who watch fantasy television are more likely to have a premium television subscription (either pay for a premium channel or a premium streaming subscription). Fantasy television series are typically big budget and not often found on broadcast or free streaming services, and fantasy genre fans are willing to pay for the content they want to see, according to Interpret research.

Interpret: 18% of U.S. Subscribers to Cable or Streaming Services Share Passwords

Nearly one-fifth (18%) of all U.S. subscribers to cable or streaming services report using another household’s password and 18% report sharing a password with another household, according to data from Interpret’s VideoWatch.

Another 9% of consumers indicate that they split the cost of a single subscription service and then share that service’s password with other households.

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Password sharing has taken center stage after Netflix in a recent financial report blamed it for poor results. Netflix executives are looking at an ad-based tier to give consumers a lower-priced option. Given that 48% of Netflix subscribers watch ad-supported content from other streaming providers, an ad-based version of Netflix could be a winner, according to Interpret.

Interpret Research: One-Third of Streaming Subs Want Better Content Discovery

Consumers are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content from streaming video providers and increasingly frustrated with the efforts needed to access it, according to new research by Interpret.

Among subscribers to streaming services, one-third express an interest in being able to manage and search for their available content from one place, according to Interpret’s study, “The Future of OTT Aggregation.” Consumers want aggregation services to help remove pain points from the subscription process. They also expect bundled offerings to deliver greater value, as well as to improve account management, discovery and content recommendation functionality, according to the study.

The study found that U.S. viewers subscribe to an average of four to five SVOD services, and the majority also access multiple ad-supported or ad-funded on-demand services. More than 20% of U.S. consumers agree that they “subscribe to too many video streaming services.”

Among other findings:

  • Consumers expect financial value from any bundled offerings, but also derive increasing personal value from offerings that eliminate pain points in the subscription (and cancellation) process.
  • Most aggregation providers are focused on front-end content interfaces and discovery tools, but there is potential to offer significant differentiation through portfolio and payment management tools.
  • Content providers are hampering progress in aggregation because they are fighting to retain control over their own parts of the content journey (and related data collection and advertising opportunities).

 

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“Addressing fragmentation will be tricky since there are so many service options, each with its own priorities relative to revenues, data, and audience. Yet, the companies that solve the aggregation puzzle have much to gain,” Brett Sappington, VP at Interpret, said in a statement. “Successful aggregation of content and services will produce an improved, sticky customer experience and will drive subscription and ad revenue opportunities. It will also be important to mid-sized or smaller streaming services that cannot afford to out-market global or regional streaming giants.”

“The Future of OTT Aggregation” is based on industry research, interviews with market leaders and innovators, and online survey data of 9,000 U.S. consumers.

Interpret: Disney+ Subs More Amenable to Ad-Supported Content

Disney+ subscribers are more amenable to ad-based content than the general population, according to Interpret data, making the company well-positioned as it plans to introduce a lower-priced, ad-supported subscription tier for its digital streaming video service.

Interpret’s VideoWatch data shows that 55% of Disney+ viewers are already consuming content on ad-supported services, compared with 44% of the general population.

“When Disney first entered the subscription OTT space, it redefined the benchmarks for success for a new streaming service,” Brett Sappington, VP at Interpret, said in a statement. “Prior to its entry, companies were pleased to exceed 1 or 2 million subscribers. When Disney was able to quickly capture millions of customers, they set a high bar for others to reach. The same could happen in the ad-supported streaming space as well. With its large current subscribership, a known content brand, and existing relationships with advertisers through its television business, Disney+ is well positioned for success with an ad-supported tier.”

While Growing, TV and Movie Viewing Grabs Smaller Portion of Consumers’ Entertainment Time

TV and movie viewing has become a smaller portion of consumers’ overall weekly entertainment time over the past two years while the share of weekly time spent on other entertainment pursuits, particularly digital activities, has increased, according to new research by Interpret.

Interpret’s study, Holistic Entertainment 2021: The Complete Consumer, found that the average weekly time spent on entertainment overall has increased by an average of five hours between 2019 and 2021. While TV and movie viewing hours increased, their growth has been significantly outpaced by other forms of entertainment.

“Overall, consumers’ time spent on entertainment is becoming more diverse,” Brett Sappington, VP at Interpret, said in a statement. “Movies and TV programming still represent the largest share of entertainment time, but other activities are rapidly encroaching. Young consumers in particular see gaming, short form video, and live-streaming as valid, even preferable, alternatives to premium video content. The industry must continue to push the boundaries of entertainment in order to engage with consumers and remain relevant over time.”

Other results include:

  • Broadcast and cable network viewing fell by approximately one hour per week during the period.
  • Hours spent on streaming services offset the decline in broadcast and cable TV viewing.
  • Music, gaming, and podcasts have become a larger share of consumer entertainment. Mobile gaming in particular has increased, with U.S. consumers spending more than two hours more per week on mobile games in 2021 than in 2019.
  • Reading physical media (printed books, newspapers, and magazines) declined in entertainment share, as did, not surprisingly, attendance at live events.

 

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Interpret’s Holistic Entertainment 2021: The Complete Consumer is a syndicated consumer research study that examines consumer entertainment habits and spending over time. The study is based on online surveys of 9,000 U.S. consumers from 2019 to 2021, and measures entertainment consumption across varying media and free time activities, including TV and movies, online activities, digital entertainment, physical media, exercise and outdoor activities, event attendance, social media and other areas. It also explores differences in consumption among particular segments, including pay-TV subscribers, OTT subscribers, gamers and differing age cohorts, including digital natives, millennials and boomers.

Interpret: Half of Consumers Who Plan Smart-TV, Streaming Media Play Purchase are First-Timers

Half of consumers who plan to purchase a smart-TV or a streaming media player within the next three months will be first-time buyers, according to new data released June 29 by Interpret.

The remainder are existing owners who are replacing their streaming device, upgrading to a newer version, or switching to a new brand.

According to Interpret’s “Streaming Devices: Platforms, Brands, and Consumers 2021” report, 10% of consumers plan to buy a smart TV and a similar number plan a streaming media player purchase within the next quarter. Samsung and Vizio owners are the least likely to replace their smart TV, and Roku owners are the least likely to want to replace their streaming media player.

The study also found:

  • 18% of Roku owners plan to replace their device within the next three months;
  • 17% of Samsung owners and 18% of Vizio owners plan to replace their devices within the next three months.

 

“With half of buyers being new to smart TVs and streaming media players, this sector of consumer electronics is primed for continued growth,” said Brett Sappington, Interpret’s VP of research. “However, not all streaming device brands will enjoy the full benefit of that growth. Our research shows that each brand attracts a unique consumer audience, with differing characteristics, habits, and preferences that are often related to key features. Those brands that best meet consumers’ needs stand the best chance of gaining market share.”

Research: HBO Max Subs More Likely to Pay for Additional Services

HBO Max subscribers in the United States are far more likely than Disney+ or Netflix subscribers to pay for additional video services, according to Interpret Insights’ New Media Measure.

While 27% of HBO Max subscribers pay for four to five other video services, only 12% of Netflix subscribers and 17% of Disney+ subscribers do the same, suggesting that HBO Max “is seen as highly complementary to other options in the market,” according to Interpret.

While HBO Max has benefited from Warner Bros. movies debuting on the service at the same time they hit theaters, that is poised to change next year as an (albeit shorter) theatrical window returns, according to Interpret.

“The big challenge as HBO Max enters 2022 will be securing exclusive content to maintain this momentum,” Interpret wrote.

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Interpret: 90% of Apple TV+ Subs Own at Least One Apple Device

Interpret research found that 90% of Apple TV+ subscribers own at least one Apple device, with 42% owning four or more Apple products.

Apple’s SVOD service (regularly $4.99 a month) has been free to any users who purchased an iPhone or other iOS device in late 2019. After extending the free period through February, the company extended the free service through July.

Pundits have noted that Apple TV+ lags in content offerings compared to other subscription streaming services, such as Disney+ and Netflix.

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Among those who cancelled their Apple TV+ subscription, nearly a third did so because of a “promotional price ending,” suggesting that viewers were anticipating the end of their free trials, according to Interpret.

 

Interpret: Discovery+ Fills Strong Niche

Discovery Channel’s new Discovery+ streaming service, which launched Jan. 4 in the United States, is filling a strong niche, according to Interpret research.

Available for $5 per month with a commercial-free version at $7 per month, the platform not only offers shows from Discovery Channel, with more than 55,000 episodes at launch, but also content from Discovery-owned HGTV, TLC, Food Network, Animal Planet, OWN and more. Discovery also has partnerships with BBC, A&E, Group Nine and others to provide additional content.

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“Discovery’s portfolio of channels offers an array of science, reality and non-fiction programming, providing it with a unique niche of content that is differentiated from Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock or other broadcast and cable TV network-oriented streaming services,” according to Interpret.

Interpret’s New Media Measure found that this type of content is popular, with viewership of Discovery’s portfolio of channels ranging from 7% to 20% of pay-TV subscribers.

“Discovery is betting that those same people will happily pay $5 per month, particularly if they leave traditional pay-TV,” according to Interpret.

Discovery+ is already available in the United Kingdom and Ireland and intends to roll out to 25 international markets this year. A promotion from Verizon provides as much as one year free of Discovery+ to its wireless customers.