Report: U.S. Homes Subscribe to Three SVOD Services, Cut Spending by $5 Monthly

U.S. homes subscribe to a lot of streaming video services. How many depends upon the latest research. New data from Altman Solon found that the average number of SVOD services in U.S. homes reached three in 2021 — up from 2.1 services in 2020. Indeed, SVOD subscriptions increased more than 37% annually from 2014 to 2020.

At the same time, streamers are increasingly opting for less-expensive ad-supported SVOD plans. Solon, citing an internal survey, found that U.S. streamers now spend about $5 monthly less on SVOD platforms. Netflix is planning to launch an ad-supported subscription plan by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, live sports remain a large driver for pay-TV retention, with 83% of sports viewers subscribing to pay-TV. Nearly 50% of survey respondents said they still subscribe to pay-TV out of habit, while 34% said it was part of bundled service. The report found that 62% of respondents cited the low cost of online TV as a reason to subscribe.

“Live sports and news continue to attract viewers’ attention and drive the growth or decline of pay-TV and streaming services,” Matt Rivet, analyst at Altman Solon, said in a statement.

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The analyst contends that as U.S. viewers move away from pay-TV to streaming, consumer confusion among streaming services and a familiarity with pay-TV remain primary drivers to pay-TV retention.

“[Online TV services] need to re-define their value proposition to retain subscribers as content availability and value for money will ultimately decide the winners and losers in the race for subscribership,” Rivet said.

Nielsen: Streaming Video Use Topped Broadcast TV in April

A month after U.S. consumers for first time spent 30% of their entertainment time streaming video, new data from Nielsen found that those same consumers streamed more video in April than broadcast television.

While Netflix’s market share remained unchanged from March, YouTube market share increased 0.1% to 6.1%, and Amazon Prime Video increased to 2.5% from 2.3%. Disney+ share fell to 1.7% from 1.8%.

The big news in April was the arrival of HBO Max on the chart, with the Warner Bros. Discovery property generating 1% market share for the first time, in addition to usage growth among “other” category streaming services, led by NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which was up 11% from March.

“The second-biggest mover was Apple TV+, which was up 7.7% month-over-month,” Brian Fuhrer, SVP of streaming strategy, said on the webcast. “They’re not at the 1% threshold yet, but we’re going to be keeping an eye out for them as they gain traction with consumers.”

While streaming volume was flat on a month-over-month basis, Nielsen found that both broadcast and cable saw a decrease in viewing by 3% and 2.5%, respectively. Broadcast viewing was reflective of 14.7% less drama viewing and a 38.2% drop in sports viewing. The dip in cable viewing was reflective of a 16.9% decline in news viewing, which was somewhat balanced by a 17% increase in sports, fueled by the viewing of the NCAA basketball finals and NBA, according to Nielsen.

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Future Today: Streaming Video a Family Affair

The proliferation of streaming video services and devices linking the internet to the television is bringing the American family back together on the couch, according to new data from Future Today.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based research firm contends that 94% of parents have upped their time streaming video together with family members in 2021. That data also underscores a prime marketing opportunity for advertisers, according to Vikrant Mathur, co-founder of Future Today.

“There is a misperception that the explosion in screens has created siloed TV viewing, with families watching from different devices and rooms,” Mathur said in a statement. “In reality, parents with younger children, in particular, are co-viewing more than ever. Co-viewing experiences help these families connect, while also allowing parents to more closely monitor media consumption for their children.”

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The analyst cited data that suggests ad-supported VOD viewership and connected televisions (CTV) are projected to represent 60% of all over-the-top video consumption by the end of the year.

“With co-viewing of streaming content more prominent, CTV and OTT can dramatically enhance campaign value for marketers, helping them reach the entire home on the largest screen,” Mathur said.

FIFA Launches Free Ad-Supported Soccer Streaming Platform ‘FIFA+’

FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, April 12 announced the launch of FIFA+, an ad-supported digital app that pledges this year to stream more than 40,000 men’s and women’s highlights and classic matches, in addition to documentaries.

The app, available on Google Play and Apple App Store, offers 1,400 matches live-streamed monthly. Ad sponsors include Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Kia, Qatar Airways, Adidas, among others.

FIFA+ will provide access to live soccer match clips from every corner of the world, interactive games, news and tournament information. FIFA, which is running the quadrennial FIFA World Cup in Qatar in November, claims to be the first sports federation in the world to offer such an extensive streaming experience to its fans for free.

“FIFA+ represents the next step in our vision to make [soccer] truly global and inclusive, and it underpins FIFA’s core mission of expanding and developing [the sport] globally,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement. “This project represents a cultural shift in the way different types of [soccer] fans want to connect with and explore the global game and has been a fundamental part of my Vision 2020-2023. It will accelerate the democratization of [soccer] and we are delighted to share it with fans.”

Special programs include:

  • Ronaldinho: The Happiest Man in the World — A feature-length documentary offering extensive access to and never-seen-before archive of one of the most iconic players to have played the game. The 90-minute film directed by Stuart and Andrew Douglas, produced by Bernie Goldmann and by Simon Horsman and Jeffrey Soros of Los Angeles Media Fund, tells the unique story of the player’s life, charting his rise from the streets of Brazil to becoming one of football’s most loved players. Lionel Messi, Frank Rijkaard and Carles Puyol all feature and reveal what this FIFA Legend means to them.
  • Captains: Season 1 — An eight-part series from Fulwell 73 (Sunderland ‘Til I Die, All or Nothing: Juventus) following six soccer team captains as they lead their countries through qualification for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The series, which will explore each individual’s leadership traits, features Luka Modrić (Croatia), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu), Andre Blake (Jamaica), Hassan Maatouk (Lebanon) and Thiago Silva (Brazil).
  • Croatia: Defining a Nation — This original feature-length documentary tells the story of how football unites and binds this nation and a group of friends who reached global recognition against the backdrop of the most extreme adversity. They each became legends and painted their country across the world. From acclaimed director Louis Myles (Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never to Play Football, Liverpool FC: The 30-Year Wait).
  • “HD Cutz” — An original eight-part docuseries with barber to the stars Sheldon Edwards talking food, fashion, music and, sometimes, football. Featuring the likes of Paul Pogba and Antonio Rüdiger, produced by MOTIF Pictures and Fever Media.
  • Dani Crazy Dream — An all-access 6 x 30-minute documentary series featuring Dani Alves,the most decorated player in history as he tries to make it to the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Produced by Alves’s own production company, Maracanã Media.
  • Golden Boot — An original 4 x 48-minute docuseries interviewing the greatest FIFA World Cup goalscorers, produced by Goalhanger Films (Wayne Rooney: The Man Behind the Goals). Episode 1 sees Gary Lineker sitting down with Brazilian great Ronaldo Nazário to rewatch the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
  • “Icons” — A 5 x 26-minute docuseries showcasing five of the biggest game-changers of the women’s game: Wendie Renard, Lucy Bronze, Asisat Oshoala, Carli Lloyd and Sam Kerr telling their stories in their own words. Produced by Noah Media Group (14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible, Finding Jack Charlton).
  • “Academies” — The inside story of some of the greatest talent production lines in world football from Shoot the Company. Season 1 tells the story of RSC Anderlecht across 3 x 30-minute episodes.

Report: Password Sharing Costs Streaming Services $2.3 Billion in Annual Lost Membership Revenue

With Netflix testing charging subscribers in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru a reduced fee if they share passwords with third parties, the streamer is attempting to put a lid on a growing trend: password mooching.

While Netflix initially encouraged password sharing as an organic way to entice subscriber growth, with the SVOD behemoth now realizing lower quarterly net sub adds, new data from Cordcutting.com estimates the service will lose more than $790 million in membership revenue this year due to password sharing — tops among all SVOD services.

Other streaming platforms such as HBO Max, Disney+ and Hulu will lose $477 million, $440 million and $436 million, respectively. That “breakage” revenue collectively tops $2.3 billion in annual membership revenue lost when including Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video and Peacock.

Of the 215 million people in the U.S. using SVOD services, the report contends 25% are using someone else’s paid-for account. Indeed, the average account borrower accesses up to two, third-party accounts, which equates to almost 86 million shared accounts.

The report, citing a survey of 790 U.S. adults early this year, found that the most-shared accounts include HBO Max, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. Among survey respondents, Netflix remains the overwhelming favorite platform with 92% market share.

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Platform 2019 2020 2021 2022
Netflix 89% 91% 90% 92%
Prime Video 61% 74% 75% 76%
Hulu 43% 56% 60% 66%
Disney+ 45% 51% 48% 54%
HBO Max 45% 45%
Peacock 36%
Paramount+ 29%
    As platforms attempt to clamp down on password sharing, the report found that among moochers unable to access third-party SVOD accounts, 45% would pay for Paramount+, followed by 38% paying for Peacock, 31% for Hulu, 30% for Netflix, 26% for HBO Max, 25% for Disney+ and 21% for Prime Video.
    “The vast majority of American adults watch streaming platforms, and even though most people are no longer isolating at home [due to the pandemic], it’s reasonable to assume that we will still devote billions of minutes to our favorite streaming shows and movies in 2022,” read the report. “And as long as there is demand for streaming content, mooching (or sharing, if you prefer) will continue.”

Roku Reaches Multiyear Streaming Agreement Extension With Amazon

Roku April 4 announced it has reached a multiyear extension with Amazon for distribution of the latter’s streaming platforms. Customers can continue to access the Prime Video and IMDb TV apps on their Roku devices. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

With more than 60 million active accounts globally, Roku remains a must-have gateway to the internet for third-party streaming video platforms. The lack of an agreement with Roku hampered the 2020 rollout of WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, negatively impacting subscriber signups. A subsequent agreement in later that year helped jumpstart subscriber additions, with HBO and Max ending 2021 with almost 74 million combined subs.

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CNN+ SVOD Platform Officially Launches

CNN+, the branded streaming subscription service from CNN, March 29 debuted in the U.S. with three types of content: live, on-demand and interactive programming — the pay-TV channel’s first direct-to-consumer access to the brand’s journalism and storytelling.

To mark the occasion, Ted Turner, founder of CNN in 1980 as the world’s first 24-hour global news network, became the first subscriber of CNN+.

Subscribers can access CNN+ on the desktop and a range of supported smartphones, tablets and streaming devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Android phones and tablets and Apple devices (via the App Store on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD). On these platforms, users can download the CNN app, which will contain both the CNN+ subscription service and access to the existing TV everywhere experience for pay-TV subscribers, including the live TV feeds of CNN, CNN International and HLN as well as a robust on-demand offering. Additional device support for CNN+ will be available in the coming months.

Available for purchase at $5.99 monthly or $59.99 per year, early subscribers that sign up within the first four weeks directly will have access to the “Deal of a Lifetime,” or 50% off the monthly plan for life as long as they remain subscribers.

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At launch, 8-12 live daily shows will debut, in addition to the first episode of a slate of weekly programming, new CNN+ Original Series, and a library of more than 1,000 hours of award-winning programming from the CNN Original Series and CNN Films teams. Additionally, the Interview Club platform is now available as a thriving community that will allow subscribers to drive the conversation and be part of the story.

CNN+ was first announced in July 2021. Additional CNN+ shows, talent, content offerings and business updates for 2022 and beyond will be released in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

Nielsen: Movie Discs, Video Games, Streaming Up February Market Share

Despite the Super Bowl, Winter Olympics and Russian invasion of Ukraine, broadcast TV consumption fell in February, with the gap filled in part by video games, movie discs and alternate (i.e., not Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+) streaming video, according to new data from Nielsen.

The media measurement company said TV consumption in February fell 0.8% from January, spearheaded by a 0.4% broadcast market share decline to 26%, cable market share dipped 0.2% to 35.4%, and streaming video share fell 0.2% to 28.7%.

Making up the void was a 1% increase in the “Other” non-TV, streaming market share to 10%, which included movies on packaged media, i.e., DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

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Of Streaming’s 28.7% share, the interesting tidbit is that leading streamers — Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ — shed some more share that was picked up by “Other streaming,” which includes niche services as well as linear streamers like Spectrum, DirecTV and Sling TV.

Netflix’s perennial leading streaming market share 0.2% fell to 6.4%, YouTube/YouTube TV and Hulu remained unchained at 5.7% and 3%, respectively. Prime Video dipped 0.1% to 2.3%, while Disney+ dipped 0.1% to 1.7%. The “Other” segment of streaming increased 0.1% to 9.5%.

JustWatch: ‘The King’s Man,’ ‘Yellowstone’ Top Weekly Streamed Movie, TV Show

Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man, starring Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton and Rhys Ifans, was the top-streamed movie through Feb. 21, according to new data from JustWatch, which tracks more than 20 million users’ monthly streaming decisions across 54 countries.

The third entry in the “Kingsman” franchise, a a prequel to the previous two, begins streaming on Disney+ Feb. 23 following transactional runs on digital retail channels. It topped Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures’ Oscar-nominated Nightmare Alley and Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Among TV shows, perennial chart topper “Yellowstone” again bested the competition as new season episodes air on the Paramount Network and catalog seasons stream on NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform.

The Kevin Costner-starrer topped new Apple TV+ series “Severance,” starring Adam Scott (“Big Little Lies”), and “Peacemaker” on HBO Max.

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Super Bowl LVI Showcased Upcoming Hollywood Streaming Video Content

From NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform live-streaming to Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, among others, showcasing content, Super Bowl LVI Feb. 13 witnessed more than the Los Angeles Rams’ thrilling 23-20 comeback win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The nation’s largest annual media event, which paid tribute to the Rams’ SoFi Stadium home’s close proximity to rap music’s roots in neighboring Compton with a halftime show featuring ’90s legends Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre and Mary J Blige, among others, saw Hollywood Studios and SVOD spend big to advertise upcoming movies.

Action-packed time-travel spectacle The Adam Project, co-starring Ryan Reynolds, led Netflix’s supersized movie preview. The streaming behemoth also rolled out sneak peeks of new 2022 movies headlined by Kevin Hart and Mark Walhberg (Me Time), Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill (Enola Holmes 2), Daniel Craig (Knives Out 2), Ryan Gosling (The Gray Man), Jonah Hill and Eddie Murphy (You People), Jennifer Lopez (The Mother), Jamie Foxx (Day Shift), Charlize Theron and Kerry Washington (The School for Good and Evil), and Jason Momoa (Slumberland).

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Disney+ debuted an ad featuring actress/rapper/comedian Awkwafina sharing that the 2-year-old streaming service has the greatest movies and shows of all time — the GOATs, literally. The promo took viewers through the Disney+ offices, which were revealed to be the home of the GOATs from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. More than 30 goats in the promo represented many fan-favorite characters, including Captain America, Chewbacca, Cruella, Woody and Homer Simpson.

The streamer also highlighted upcoming series “Moon Knight,” featuring Oscar Isaac as an ex-CIA agent with multiple personalities. Disney also aired an ad for upcoming Marvel Studios superhero actioner Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Amazon Prime Video released its first official teaser trailer for its highly anticipated new series, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”

The 60-second commercial offered viewers their first-ever audio-visual glimpses of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fabled Second Age, unveiling a brand-new legend from Amazon Studios and showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay set to begin streaming weekly on Sept. 2. Featuring a selection of characters from the ensemble cast — such as Elves, Dwarves and Orcs — and Arda-spanning environments, the teaser trailer took viewers on an action-packed journey filled with wonder and excitement in true cinematic splendor.

AMC Networks, which includes streaming platform AMC+, ran an ad showcasing its new Anne Rice series, “Interview With the Vampire,” the final seasons of “Better Call Saul” and “The Walking Dead,” “Killing Eve,” and pending anthology series “Tales of the Walking Dead.”

Universal Pictures streamed an ad showcasing two generations of “Jurassic” franchise stars, with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard joined by Oscar-winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill for this summer’s tentpole release Jurassic World: Dominion, which the studio claims is a “bold, timely and breathtaking new adventure that spans the globe.”