With several coronavirus vaccines coming to market, moviegoers should soon return to theaters in huge numbers, right? No so fast, according to new data from one research firm that found 61% of respondents plan on watching new movies via streaming services, rather than going to the cineplex post pandemic.
The survey was conducted Jan. 4 online using Survey Monkey among a national sample of 867 adults, spanning across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age.
“With mass vaccination on the horizon, it’s important to track which pandemic habits will become the new norm,” Chris Loretto, EVP of Adtaxi, said in a statement. “The meteoric rise of streaming appears to be one clear case, with huge implications for the future of movie theaters, content production and digital marketing.”
Among the survey’s findings related to broader streaming habits: When asked whether streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have made movie theaters obsolete, 49% of respondents said yes.
Streaming services were the #1 source for default TV viewing with 47% of respondents. Second place went to Cable TV (24%), followed by traditional TV (11%). This year, 19% of respondents plan to add additional streaming services on top of their current subscriptions.
Another 28% of respondents say they cancelled a cable subscription in favor of streaming in 2020, while 31% of those with cable say they plan to cut the cord in favor of streaming in 2021.
While 62% of respondents moving away from cable in favor of streaming are looking to save money, 48% say they want to watch on their own schedule, 41% say they like the option of binge watching and 30% say they want to avoid traditional TV commercials due to a lack of personal relevance.
“This data is a continuation of years-long consumer trends toward convenience, cost-efficiency and personalization in media consumption,” Loretto said. “Incidentally, the streaming platforms that are drawing in millions of consumers are also some of the most fertile ground for targeted and cost-efficient digital marketing. The key to resonating on these platforms will be a voice and strategy that is highly adaptable to changing circumstances and evolving preferences.”