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%).

Report: First-Quarter Streaming Video Use Cools; Roku Market Share Dips

Streaming video continues to resonate with consumers globally, albeit not as strongly as last year when the pandemic was in its infancy, resulting in the abrupt closure of movie theaters, sporting events and sequestering consumers in their homes.

New data from Conviva found that viewing time grew 36% during the first quarter, ended March 31, compared to the previous-year period when streaming video growth topped 57%.

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While North America, the world’s biggest streaming market, saw solid 18% year-over-year growth in streaming viewing, that was down from 57% last year, which included South America. The true streaming explosion occurred internationally, with South America (up 240%), Africa (149% vs. 25%) and Europe (+122% vs. 70%) experiencing triple-digit growth.

Data for the report was primarily collected from Conviva’s 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 1.5 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

The report also revealed that as more consumers are migrating to connected TV devices, smart-TVs and gaming consoles (73% market share), current device leaders Roku and Amazon Fire TV’s share of the streaming device market is eroding.

Roku and Amazon Fire TV saw a slight decline (2.9% and 3.6% respectively) in share of viewing time in Q1, as international viewing and smart-TVs continued to surge globally. While Roku captured a significant 30% share of global big-screen viewing time, this dominance was primarily driven by North America, where it commanded 37% share in Q1. In Europe, Roku’s second-largest market, Roku accounted for only 8% share of the big screen, and it did not fare any better in other regions, with 4% share or less in Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America.

“In every region in the world, streaming viewership is growing, representing a global shift in the way people consume content,” Bill Demas, CEO of Conviva, said in a statement. “This rapidly expanding international audience has created an enormous opportunity for content developers, device manufacturers and advertisers to engage new audiences as the brands and publishers who understand exactly how, when and where people are streaming, will inevitably triumph.”

According to Conviva, there is significant variation in the way consumers in different regions stream on TV screens. In Africa, where TV screens represent 56% of all viewing time, the CanalPlus set-top box was the preferred device, with 54% share of all Q1 screen viewing time. In Asia, Android TV held 49% of all Q1 screen viewing time, while in North America, where TV screens are responsible for 81% of all viewing time, Roku continued to dominate with 37% share. In Europe, screen viewing time was divided relatively equally among devices, while in Oceania, Chromecast ruled with 24% and in South America, Samsung TV held 30% share of TV screen viewing.

Social platforms continue to deliver strong return-on-investment (ROI) for streaming publishers, delivering new audiences and increased engagement. The total number of posts from streaming publishers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube combined grew 99% in Q1 2021 as compared to Q1 2020, with total videos increasing 39% and total engagements increasing 24%. Audience growth across all social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, grew 61% year over year.



Nielsen Expands Streaming Video Tracking

Nielsen April 22 announced the launch of Nielsen Streaming Video Ratings, a syndicated service that provides visibility into total viewership and advanced audience demographic insights by streaming platform alongside linear TV ratings.

The new software aims to give media buyers the ability to make more-informed decisions about their advertising investments, while sellers can better assess competition and understand audience composition to better monetize their premium content.

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As viewing consumption continues to shift across linear and streaming services, it is critical to have full visibility into viewership trends across linear TV, VOD, subscription and ad-supported streaming services and audience demographic information such as race/ethnicity, household income, device types inside the home and location.

Nielsen Streaming Video Ratings will allow content creators, studios, platforms and advertisers to know which demos are engaging with the content, where content opportunities may be, which platforms are gaining momentum (and why) and which categories are driving the most engagement.

Nielsen estimates that among homes that can stream the share has gone from 18% to 25% in only a year’s time — a seven-percentage-point increase in a behavior that continues to see audience adoption and increased use. This type of audience shift is even more acute when looking at certain age and ethnic demographics, crucial insights for the entire media ecosystem to understand when creating, licensing, marketing and even casting talent of content.

For example, according to Nielsen Streaming Video Ratings among homes that are streaming capable, Netflix now accounts for about 7% of total TV time. One-third of streaming-capable homes access between three and four SVOD services per month, but nearly half of homes also use an ad-supported VOD service as well. Beyond SVOD and AVOD, linear streaming, such as online TV apps, has also emerged as a popular and viable consumer content option according to insights uncovered via Nielsen’s SVR service.

“By 2024, it’s estimated that streaming platforms will have amassed 210 million subscribers, which represents a staggering number of consumers and a major shift in media habits,” Kevin Rini, SVP of product management at Nielsen, said in a statement. “It will help any business buying, selling or investing in media to have the clear picture of the impact of these consumer shifts.”

At launch, Nielsen Streaming Video Ratings will include viewership details from 10 top streaming platforms as well as seven categories of apps including subscription-based, ad-supported, network, social, gaming as well as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) and online TV apps.


Report: Record 12.2 Billion Video Minutes Streamed in 2020

Thanks to the pandemic and home confinement, 2020 was the year of the streaming video — with video uploads in both marketing and entertainment skyrocketing 80% from 2019, according to new data from Wistia. The research firm analyzed more than 44 million videos uploaded from 2016 to 2020 across more than 500,000 registered users.

Though video volume is up across the board, long-form videos stole the spotlight in 2020 from a growth perspective. The number of videos in the 30 minute to 60 minute category grew 140% compared with 2019, and 446% compared with 2016. Wistia contends longer-form content is becoming a more popular option for businesses as more companies embrace video series and other long-form video content to entice consumers and viewers.

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Since 2016, time spent watching videos increased from 3.5 billion minutes to 12.2 billion minutes (or 23,211 years)  — a 249% increase. This increase is mostly attributed to a dramatic increase in video consumption at the onset of the pandemic. Indeed, the report found an 85% increase in minutes watched in 2020.

“There was once a time when video marketing may have fallen under the ‘nice-to-have’ category for most marketers,” read the report. “But if we look at the past five years as an indication of where we’re heading, video will continue to be considered an essential tool. The global pandemic only accelerated video content creation, so we predict that companies will continue to leverage these tools to grow their businesses.”