Roku: British Consumers Prefer Streaming Video to Pay-TV

New survey data released by Roku finds that for live sports, traditionally the bastion of pay-TV, 51% of British respondents are now streaming. Another 68% said having digital access to a new movie release is a key reason they would try a new streaming service.

The results come from a survey conducted by National Research Group July 24-30 on behalf of Roku, featuring 934 respondents 18 to 70 years old who watch at least five hours of TV per week via traditional pay-TV service.

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The Streaming Decade” report suggests that TV streaming has reached a tipping point, with 90% of survey respondents saying they are TV streamers, versus 70% who use traditional pay-TV services such as Sky, BT and Virgin Media.

“The findings show that streaming is becoming the norm for all ages,” Mirjam Laux, VP international at Roku, said in a statement. “With more and more new and interesting content available to consumers, streaming has become the dominant force for consumers.”

Indeed, 66% of respondents chose streaming, while 23% chose traditional pay-TV when they wanted to watch something. Nearly two-thirds of 57- to 70-year-olds agree that streaming represents better value, is more convenient and has greater variety than pay-TV.

Another 73% who have signed up for ad-supported VOD services plan to keep them, while 79% plan to keep subscription services (SVOD).

Meanwhile, TV streamers are loyal — almost two-thirds of U.K. consumers have never subscription-cycled, (where users sign up, cancel, and then sign up again). Only 3% have definite plans to cancel a subscription streaming service in the next year.

Roku: Pandemic, Cord-Cutting Driving Streaming Video Consumption

Increased streaming video access to live sports and new-release movies in the COVID era is accelerating over-the-top video consumption in consumer homes, according to new data from Roku.

Citing a survey of 2,852 respondents (ages 18 to 70) in the United States, who watch at least five hours of TV per week via traditional pay-TV (i.e. cable, satellite or telecom service) or a streaming service, Roku found that the ease-of-use, cost-savings, and content quality of TV streaming was shown to have extremely broad, intergenerational appeal among American consumers.

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Roku said 25% of respondents call themselves cord-cutters, and on average pay less than half monthly what traditional pay-TV subscribers do for video content: $49 vs. $121. But cutting the cord doesn’t mean watching less. On average, Roku found cord-cutters spend three more hours per week streaming video than traditional pay-TV viewers spend watching content: 22 hours compared with 19 hours.

Roku found that not just young people are using streaming services to stay in the loop on social media. Social currency is also a reason that baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) choose streaming: 54% chose TV streaming compared with 25% who said they would turn to traditional pay-TV.

And streaming services are continuing to expand their audiences overall. While TV streaming is nearly universal among younger generations — 98% of Gen Z (1990s to early 2010s) and 95% of millennials (1981 to 1996) — the majority of boomers are streaming too.

Among boomer respondents, 71% of whom stream, nearly 25% cut the cord in the past year — and are just as likely as younger generations to be cord cutters (25% vs. 23%). Another 51% added more streaming subscriptions; 90% said TV streaming devices are easy to use.

Not so long ago, the only way sports fans could watch live sports was on cable, or at a venue. Now 42% of respondents said they watch sports via TV streaming versus 62% who watch via traditional pay-TV.

“Amid a year of uncertainty, this survey puts data behind what we at Roku have believed since our founding in 2002: All TV will be streamed,” Anthony Wood, founder/CEO of Roku, said in a statement. “These results show that TV streaming has passed a tipping point. Even more exciting, it’s bringing more people together, starting new conversations, and giving viewers of every generation more of the content they love, while also making it more accessible. TV streaming is here to stay.”

Data: Streaming Platforms Maintaining 2020 Pandemic Gains; International Markets Surging

The streaming video boom of 2020 is not weakening, according to new data from Conviva. The media metrics company’s report found streaming viewing time worldwide grew 13% in the second quarter (ended June 30), compared with the previous-year period.

Despite a 7% decline in streaming viewing in April, North America still saw a 2% increase in streaming viewing in Q2 2021. Other regions saw even bigger spikes in time spent streaming, with Africa growing 79% and South America growing 192% driven by the launch of new services.

Conviva’s report was primarily collected from proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in 3.3 billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year, with nearly 2 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

“As the global streaming industry grows and competition becomes even more intense, consumer expectations for a superior streaming experience will only continue to rise,” CEO Keith Zubchevich said in a statement.

Despite fewer consumers homebound due to COVID mandates, Conviva said big screens, including connected TV devices, smart TVs and gaming consoles remained the dominant way to stream video in the quarter, commanding 73% of global viewing time, down just 1% from the same period in 2020.

The research firm said mobile phones captured that 1% share, growing from 10% in Q2 2020 to 11% in Q2 2021. While smart TVs continue to grab market share, up 46%, with streaming media devices up 5%, gaming consoles were the lone big screen streaming device to see a decrease — down 14%.

Among streaming devices, Roku maintained its market lead with 31% global share of big screen viewing time, but dropped slightly in share as smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Android and Vizio each increased 1% to 2%.

Conviva said that when factoring in social media with streaming viewership, long-running series “Grey’s Anatomy,” which promotes its streaming availability on Hulu (and Netflix), had the most cross-platform engagements on social media in Q2 2021, followed by Netflix’s Spanish-language drama “Elite.”

Among originals, “Loki” claimed the top social engagement spot for Disney+ at No. 4 on Conviva’s list of the top streaming shows by social media engagement. Netflix continues to dominate social media engagement with six shows noted on the list, followed by The CW with four of the top 25 shows.

Nielsen: May Streaming Edged Broadcast, But Not Pay-TV

New data from Nielsen, the TV ratings pioneer, found that streaming video use across all television homes in May climbed to 26% of all time spent on TV. Streaming and broadcast now account for more than 50% of television time, with usage split evenly between the two channels.

Notably, pay-TV, despite ongoing consumer defections, remained consumers’ top choice for TV viewing in May with 39% of Nielsen’s “The Gauge” snapshot. That compared with 6% for Netflix.

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The data underscores further evidence how the pandemic has been a catalyst for streaming services, which gained traction amongst a broader range of consumers. Over the last year, several traditional media companies dove into the streaming space, taking advantage of their vast video libraries and launching just in time to provide consumers in lockdown with more binge-worthy content.

“The past year has categorically shifted the television viewing landscape,” Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy, said in a statement. “Even as people begin to dive back into their pre-pandemic activities … we expect people to keep sampling and exploring their options.  Maybe just as importantly, as production ramps back up, new content will enter the space, driving additional traction.”

Nielsen said its data used is derived from two separately weighted panels and combined to create the infographic.  Streaming data comes from a subset of TV households in the company’s national TV panel that are enabled with Nielsen’s “streaming meter,” while linear TV sources as well as total usage are based on viewing from the overall TV panel.

Chase Offering Cardholders Cash Back on SVOD Subscriptions

Chase June 15 announced new retail categories offering 5% back to Freedom and Freedom Flex cardmembers on purchases (up to $1,500), including subscription streaming video services. The promotion runs from July 1 to Sept. 30.

“We want to provide cardmembers with categories that can make their summer more enjoyable, whether it’s their monthly streaming service bill or purchasing food for a family barbeque,” Kristen Bowdoin, GM of Chase Freedom, said in a statement.

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The cash-back promotion includes grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) and select streaming services, including music.

Starting July 2, Chase Freedom, Freedom Flex, Freedom Unlimited, and Freedom Student cardmembers will have the option to apply Ultimate Rewards points to pay for all or a portion of their dining purchases up to a total of $250 and get paid back with statement credit through the Pay Yourself Back tool in the Chase Mobile App and online. Specifically, Ultimate Reward points will be worth 10% more when redeemed for up to $250 in dining purchases through Sept. 30.

Report: Streaming Video Service Consumer Satisfaction Drops

Subscription streaming video may be all the rage, but consumer satisfaction with the medium is down in 2021 compared with the same period in 2020, according to new data from the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index Telecommunications Study.

The report found consumer satisfaction with the SVOD sector dipped 2.6% to 74 on a scale of 100. That compared with 76 in 2020. The declines were led by Netflix and Apple TV+, which saw their satisfaction indexes fall 4% to 75 and 74, respectively. Disney+ and Hulu had 3% drops in satisfaction to 78 and 75, respectively. Amazon Prime Video declined 3% to 74.

Streaming services that improved their satisfaction index included Twitch, up 1% to 76; HBO (1%) to 75; Vudo (1%) to 73; Showtime OTT (1%) to 72, and Sling TV (1%) to 72. Microsoft Store moved into second place after climbing 1% to 77. Crackle again sat at the bottom of the industry index with an ACSI score of 68.

The report, which is based on survey of 37,907 email respondents from April 1, 2020, to March 29, 2021, stated increased use of streaming video during the pandemic led to outsized stress put on the infrastructure and bandwidth required to deliver over-the-top video.

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“With folks resigned to stay at home for the better part of a year and a half, the heavy strain on telecommunications was inevitable,” David VanAmburg, managing director at the ACSI, said in a statement. “The large consumption of bandwidth for internet services and countless hours spent streaming videos and movies were sure to impact satisfaction. And it turns out that streaming has taken the biggest hit of all.”

Video streaming remains the customer satisfaction leader among telecom industries despite its current decline. However, its advantage over subscription TV shrank from 12 to 9 points.

Report: Adults Watching Video Daily on Connected TVs Declines

As the country emerges from the pandemic, adults streaming video on a connected television is declining slightly, according to new data Leichtman Research Group.

Based on a survey of 2,000 TV households in the United States, the report found that 39% of adults watch video on a TV via a connected device daily — compared with 40% in 2020, 31% in 2019, 19% in 2016, and 3% in 2011.  Younger individuals are most likely to use connected TV devices. Of those ages 18-34, 54% watch video on a TV via a connected device daily — compared with 43% of ages 35-54 and 22% of ages 55+.

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Leichtman reported that 82% of U.S. TV households have at least one Internet-connected TV device, including connected smart-TVs, standalone streaming devices (such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV stick or set-top box, Chromecast, or Apple TV), connected video game systems, and/or connected Blu-ray Disc players. This compares to 80% with at least one connected TV device in 2020, 74% in 2019, 65% in 2016, and 30% in 2011.

“Use of connected TV devices leveled off over the past year after being pulled forward due to the coronavirus pandemic last year,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Still, 60% of adults watch video on a TV via a connected device at least weekly.”

Other findings include:

  • 35% of adults with a pay-TV service watch video via a connected TV device daily — compared with 50% of pay-TV non-subscribers;
  • 60% of adults watch video via a connected TV device at least weekly — compared with 59% in 2020, 52% in 2019, 40% in 2016, and 10% in 2011;
  • 55% of TV households have at least one stand-alone streaming device — up from 49% in 2019, 33% in 2016, and 3% in 2011;
  • about 43% of all TV sets in U.S. households are connected smart-TVs — an increase from 32% in 2019, 19% in 2016, and 7% in 2014;
  • in 2021, mean reported spending on a new TV was about $530 — compared with about $795 in 2016; and
  • given a choice of screens, 78% prefer to watch video on a TV set, 11% on a computer, 8% on a smartphone and 3% on a tablet.

Report: Latinos Love AVOD, Streaming Video

With 61 million people in the U.S., the Latino population is a major demographic group when it comes to media consumption. Latinos are spending less time watching TV in favor of streaming video, especially ad-supported VOD — the latter driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data from Penthera.

Indeed, 46% of U.S. Latinos prefer consuming ad-supported VOD, followed by pay-TV (20%), ad-supported subscription VOD (16%), SVOD (14%) and live video (5%), according to a survey of 500 Latinos ages 18-50.

“Our audience has grown [three times] since the pandemic began,” Natalia Borges, EVP of marketing at VIX, a division of Univision Communications offering AVOD content to U.S. Latinos and consumers in Latin America. “We believe that the pandemic merely accelerated trends around cord-cutting that we were already seeing.”

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Penthera found that mobile is the most popular (55%) device for daily streaming, followed by the connected TV (51%) and PC (22%). Interestingly, 87% of mobile streamers do so in the home, followed by 26% outside the home; 23% when on a trip; 21% while commuting and 13% at work.

Another 88% of panelists said they experienced streaming video frustrations. The most common distractions are videos taking too long to start up (47%), video re-buffering (44%), and advertisements stalling (36%).

Notably, 61% of respondents said that they did not feel represented in the streaming ads they see, with 42% saying the issue is that the products being advertised aren’t local. That lack of representation affected panelists, who said the issue is that the products being sold aren’t local (42%); the ad is a translated version of its English counterpart (32%); their native language isn’t used enough (29%); and the actors in the ads aren’t Latino (24%).

FlixLatino, a SVOD service focused on making Hispanic-created and Latino-based movies, series, documentaries and animation, aims to fill the void.

“We had been doubling our subscriber base year-over year and we expected that to continue in 2020,” said Luis Guillermo Villanueva, the company’s COO. “With the pandemic, we saw our subscriber base triple last year. More Hispanic people in the U.S. were viewing more content.”

Report: Global SVOD Subscriptions to Reach 1.5 Billion by 2026

Spurred in part by a pandemic, global streaming video subscriptions are projected to reach 1.5 billion through 2026, according to new data from Digital TV Research. The London-based firm attributed the rise in part to 201 million SVOD subscriptions added in 2020 when increasing numbers of consumers worldwide were quarantined in their homes due to COVID-19. In addition, the report finds that the average consumer will pay for 2.14 SVOD subscriptions by 2026 — up from 1.74 subscriptions in 2020.

“There will be 700 million SVOD subscribers by 2026; up by 35% from 518 million at end of 2020,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “The 2026 total represents 39% of TV households, increasing from 30% in 2020.”

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Overall, Digital TV Research contends that SVOD membership across 138 countries will increase by 591 million through 2026 to reach 1.495 million, up 65% from 2020.

The report suggests China and the U.S. will combine for 48% of global SVOD subs by 2026, down from 59% in 2020 — with the U.S. usurping China as the main SVOD subscription country. Yet with the U.S. a maturing SVOD market, subscriber growth in other countries is skyrocketing. India will nearly triple subscriptions through 2026 to 155 million, accounting for 10% of the global total.

Hub: Average Consumer Nearing Six Different Video Sources in the Home

Americans have their bases covered when it comes to accessing video and television in the home. New data from Hub Research finds that the typical consumer accesses 5.7 different sources of TV content, including traditional pay-TV service, all available streaming services, and over-the-air reception through an antenna. That number jumped by nearly one full service since 2020, and is almost twice as high as it was in 2019.

Hub says about 80% of TV consumers now use a streaming TV service, 19% higher than the proportion who have a traditional pay-TV subscription (cable, satellite, or telecom). Not surprisingly, the proportion with traditional pay-TV has dropped seven percentage points since the same time last year.

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The percentage of consumers using any streaming TV service is up only 2% since last year. The large jump in the average number of services is attributed to an increase in the use of multiple streaming services, and greater adoption of free, ad-supported services such as Pluto TV, The Roku Channel and Tubi, among others.

Almost 60% of all TV consumers use two or more of the top SVODs: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+ or HBO Max. The percent using two or more top SVODs is up eight percentage points from 2020. Some of that increase is explained by the fact that HBO Max did not exist at this point in 2020, but it still demonstrates that consumers tend to add new streaming services without dropping their existing services.

Hub found that the percent of consumers using a free, ad-supported TV service is up eight points since last year, at 48%.

Don’t expect the size of consumers’ bundles to shrink: one in 5 (21%) say they plan to add new services in the next six months. And among those who plan to add, a strong majority say they’ll add without cutting anything they have currently.

In fact, those who currently have four or more services, and who expect to add new services, are even more likely to say they’ll keep everything they have (78%) without replacing anything.

A bit over half of TV consumers feel their bundle of TV services meets their needs “very well.” But the other half aren’t completely satisfied. With an average of nearly six TV sources at their disposal, nearly half feel their TV bundle meets their viewing needs only “somewhat well” (42%) or “not at all well” (6%).