TransUnion: Streaming Video Use Tops Linear Television

More consumers are streaming now than watching cable and satellite TV, according to a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of TransUnion. Seventy percent of Americans who watched TV between mid-November and mid-December 2021 streamed, including 82% of 18- to 54-year-olds.

The survey of more than 1,800 TV viewers found they watch streaming more actively compared to legacy cable/satellite. Further, they prefer streaming for high-engagement viewing occasions, such as watching their favorite show or when they want to ‘lose themselves’ in a program. The survey also found streaming ads resonate more with consumers — especially the younger audiences advertisers covet — than ads viewed on cable or satellite TV.

“It’s clear that streaming television generates more interest among viewers across content and ads, making free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels critical to advertisers. Streaming viewing time will soon eclipse traditional TV, and with tens of millions of streaming-only households already, advertisers need the right tools to identify and reach audiences through streaming channels,” Matt Spiegel, EVP of media and entertainment vertical at TransUnion, said in a statement.

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According to the study, streaming and cable/satellite viewers prefer streaming for entertainment, relaxation and content discovery, while linear TV is more likely to be used to watch news or when the television is on in the background.

Reason to Watch Streaming Cable/Satellite
Watch favorite programs 52% 25%
Relax/Unwind 51% 21%
To escape and lose myself in a program 52% 20%
Really want to pay attention to program 49% 22%
When I am looking for something new to watch (discovery) 58% 17%
Watch the news 33% 50%

Commercials on Streaming TV Garner More Consumer Attention

Overall, ads viewed on streaming platforms engage consumers more than ads viewed on cable and satellite, especially among 18-54 year-olds:

  • Almost twice as many streaming and cable/satellite viewers ages 18-54 claim to pay more attention to commercials on streaming (43%) versus cable/satellite (23%).
  • 59% say streaming TV commercials are more relevant to them than commercials on cable/satellite TV.
  • 47% say streaming has more engaging/interactive commercials compared to only 28% who say the same about cable/satellite.
  • 69% agree that streaming tends to have shorter ad breaks compared to cable/satellite TV, which likely also contributes to increased ad attention.


Streaming Remains a Fragmented Advertising Market

“For advertisers, streaming still has its challenges. Consumers stream across multiple devices and applications, many of which own a piece of the streaming ad inventory pool. The different pieces use varying technologies and have unique ways of identifying consumers. That can make it difficult for advertisers to execute audience-targeted campaigns across the streaming ecosystem with the precision and scale they desire,” said David Wiesenfeld, lead strategist of media and entertainment vertical at TransUnion.

The survey found 45% of TV viewers have three or more streaming-capable TVs at home, nearly two in five (38%) have more than one brand of smart TV in their home, and over half of streaming viewers (55%) watched more than five streaming channels in the past month.

“Consumers are telling us how they want to watch TV, and that is increasingly on streaming services. It’s now up to our industry to deliver the seamless, engaging TV ad experiences streaming enables. It starts with being able to recognize consumers across platforms and devices. That will require advertisers, media companies and ad tech platforms to evolve toward an identity infrastructure for TV that serves the needs of all constituents,” Wiesenfeld concluded.

Roku: Holiday Shoppers Expect to Increase Spending, Streaming Video in 2021

Consumer confidence is strong with shoppers projected to increase spending heading into the winter holidays, according to new data from Roku’s 2021 Annual Holiday Consumer Shopping study in partnership with The Harris Poll.

This year’s survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults found 72% of holiday consumers expressing confidence the economy will improve in the next 12 months. More than 36% of respondents plan on spending more this year, a significant increase from the past three years (and the highest number reported since 2018). Another 39% of streaming holiday shoppers (shoppers who have streamed content in the last three months) plan to spend more in 2021, a major increase from 2020. The report also finds consumers expect to spend a record $937 on holiday purchases — a 5% increase from 2020.

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Consumers Report Spending More Time Streaming than Watching Traditional TV

In 2020, consumers reported for the first time that they spent more time streaming TV than watching traditional TV on average. The 2021 holiday report finds that the divide between time spent streaming and watching traditional TV grew 500%. The average holiday shopper reported they now spend 78 minutes more per week streaming video.

These self-reported numbers trend with the rapid growth in TV streaming. Millennials watch 30% more TV streaming content than linear television content, according to July 2021 Roku viewership insights. Overall, one-third of holiday shoppers (32%) stated they do not have traditional pay-TV. Nearly half of Gen Z holiday shoppers are cordless, and 83% of baby boomer cord cutters said that it was unlikely they would reactivate or purchase a new pay TV subscription.

TV streaming is now mainstream with 86% of US households now streaming – that’s the same number that report owning a washing machine according to Statista!

“Individual spending could hit record levels this holiday season as consumers report significant growth in their holiday spending plans,”  Dan Robbins, VP of Ad Marketing and Partner Solutions at Roku, said in a statement.

In-Store Makes Comeback, but Online Remains Dominant

2021 is expected to see a return to in-store shopping. Nearly half of shoppers (43%) plan to shop in-store this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This marks an 11-percentage point increase from 2020 (32%), when COVID concerns kept many shoppers away from retail stores. However, online shopping remains dominant, with the majority of shoppers (57%) planning to do most of their shopping online.

Millennial Holiday Shoppers are Streaming and Spending More

Millennials, America’s largest generation with a combined spending power of more than $1.4 trillion annually, are leading the pack away from traditional TV to TV streaming. Nearly one-third of millennial shoppers (31%) are cordless and unreachable via pay TV ad campaigns. This demographic is also primed to spend with more than half of these millennials (51%) — highest among generational groups — planning to spend more on gifts this holiday than in 2020. Millennial holiday consumers report planning to spend more than $1,000 on gifts this holiday.

Big Ticket Purchases Increase

With the holiday consumer economic confidence improving, 32% of consumers plan to purchase big-ticket items over $500 this season — the most since the study’s inception. What are they buying? Two in three holiday shoppers (63%) said they plan to purchase consumer electronics this year. Who are they buying for? With spending increasing in the forecast there will be a lot of gifts to go around this year and millennials plan to spend the most on themselves ($157) compared to other age groups. Men plan to spend nearly twice as much on their spouse/significant other than women do this holiday season ($213 versus $118) and they are also feeling generous towards themselves as men plan to spend twice as much on self-gifting as women plan to ($120 versus $61).

Marketers Shifting to Buy TV The Way Holiday Consumers Watch TV

Nearly half of consumers (49%) said they have seen an ad on their TV streaming device that caused them to pause what they were watching and shop for the product online, a significant increase from 2020. 46% of holiday consumers say they rely on traditional or TV streaming ads for inspiration when shopping for gifts. The “always-on” consumer is driving marketers to buy TV advertising where holiday shoppers now watch TV, making streaming a must-have for advertisers this season.

“The consumer march away from traditional television to streaming TV is now a full stampede,” said Connie Xu, Director of Brand Strategy at The Harris Poll.  “Holiday shoppers on average spend more time streaming TV than watching traditional TV. This shift will break decades-old advertising models as brands adapt to the new consumer streaming landscape by reaching shoppers where they now spend most of their TV viewing time.”

Roku: Americans Spend More Time Streaming Video Than Watching Pay-TV

New data from a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults in the COVID-19 era conducted by Roku and The Harris Poll found that 85% of respondents stream video and prefer over-the-top video over pay-television.

Average reported streaming hours increased 19% year over year while average traditional TV viewing hours decreased 13%, according to the survey results.

“These fundamental changes highlight that now is the time for marketers to consider significant realignments of their advertising investments in order to reach consumers this holiday season and beyond,” Matthew Anderson, chief marketing officer at Roku, said in a statement.

Roku is the co-creator of the SVOD market, with Netflix.

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The survey was conducted in part to determine respondents’ attitudes toward gift giving during a pandemic, how they will shop compared to previous holiday seasons, and how their adoption of TV streaming is affecting purchasing decisions.

“How consumers are making their buying decisions and executing actual purchases are undergoing important changes,” Anderson said.

Survey highlights found that Americans are evenly split on their views about the future of the economy, with 70% planning to spend the same or more on gifts this year. Overall, consumers expect to spend a total of $885 dollars on average this year on holiday purchases, up approximately 2.5% from last year’s survey.

Nearly one-third of shoppers (31%) report that they plan to buy more gifts for more people this year because of sheltering in place rules that will bar them from visiting with family and friends.

Nearly one-third (31%) plan to buy a gift to support working from home for either themselves or someone else. Furthermore, as more families spend time at home streaming, many shoppers also report planning to pick up a new television this year with smart TVs topping the gift giving (and getting) list of many shoppers. In fact, 41% of Americans surveyed say they plan to buy a new TV.

With COVID-19 fueling concerns about in-person shopping, consumers now expect to do nearly two-thirds (65%) of their holiday shopping virtually. Streamers are fueling this surge in online shopping: 79% will do most of their holiday shopping online compared to 55% of non-streamers who plan to conduct most of their shopping digitally.

“Despite all of the uncertainty we see in the world today, this report highlights the fact that consumers plan to shop significantly this holiday season,” Anderson said.

The findings provide a clear blueprint for marketers seeking to engage shoppers during what will be a season of TV streaming. Most shoppers are now primary streamers with nearly one in three having already cut the cord according to Roku’s 2020 Cord Cutting survey.

According to the survey results, 2020 truly kicked off the decade of streaming in the U.S., with more than eight in 10 Americans reporting they are streamers. Not surprisingly, 96% of millennials, as well as 72% of Baby Boomers, cited themselves as streamers in this year’s report.

Not only are Americans streaming, they are also consuming a significant amount of advertising-supported streaming content that is reshaping how brands should think about the traditional TV advertising path to purchase.

Roku is a major distributor of ad-supported VOD programming through The Roku Channel.

Indeed, Roku claims 43% of consumers (and 66% of millennials) surveyed reported having seen an ad on a streaming service that caused them to pause the content, go online and shop for the product they encountered.

“We have arrived at a tipping point for the future of TV as we know it where a future involving 50% or fewer households subscribing to traditional pay-TV is now realistic in the short-term,” said Abbey Lunney, director of trends and thought leadership at The Harris Poll. “This shift to streaming, in combination with other consumer insights into the new path to purchase, demonstrate how marketers need to adjust their engagement strategies, not just for the 2020 holiday season, but for the future long term.”

Report: 90% of Brits Stop at One or Two Streaming Video Services

New subscription streaming video services coming from Disney, Apple and WarnerMedia, in addition to Disney’s Hulu, all eye the United Kingdom as market growth opportunities.

But will consumers there even care?

New research from online ad exchange OpenX and The Harris Poll, found that nearly 90% of U.K. consumers limit their SVOD services to one or two, with just 12% having three or more.

Indeed, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Now TV, ITV Player, and BritBox, among others, currently dominate the U.K. market. 

The report was commissioned to underscore the effectiveness of advertising in an evolving media landscape and changing consumer viewing habits.

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Regardless, television consumption continues to proliferate. The report found that consumers stream nearly seven hours of video per week. Millennials stream upwards of 10 hours weekly.

Older baby boomers, on the other hand, consume 16 hours of live TV weekly, while millennials stream 77% more than watch traditional TV.

“Whether they are watching TV, using a mobile device or browsing the web on a desktop computer, the way consumers are engaging with media is changing rapidly,” Gavin Stirrat, VP of partner services, EMEA at OpenX, said in a statement.

Poll: Netflix ‘Integral Part’ of People’s Lives

Heading into Netflix’s first-quarter (ended March 31) fiscal results release, new research from The Harris Poll found that 86% of respondents stream the SVOD pioneer, followed by Hulu (53%) and Amazon Prime Video (49%).

The survey, commissioned by ad-exchange OpenX, found that despite Netflix’s recent price hike, the average amount subscribers would pay monthly for a single OTT service subscription is $22 — which is 37.5% more than Netflix’s most-expensive $15.99 plan.

Indeed, the poll found Netflix has become an integral part of people’s lives, with half of users also subscribing to Hulu (52%), Prime Video (54%), YouTube TV (29%) and HBO Now (24%).

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Notably, 31% of respondents would watch ads on Netflix for a lower monthly subscription price; while 24% would watch ads on Netflix, but only if the service was free.

“It will be telling to see if Netflix’s growth numbers are adversely impacted by the price hike; especially now that Disney+ will be significantly undercutting Netflix on price,” Dallas Lawrence, chief brand officer at OpenX, said in a statement.“According to our data, Netflix users are too loyal to leave over a few dollars cost increase.”

Indeed, the poll found Netflix replaces the need for cable/satellite TV for about half (47%) of respondents; with 46% planning to keep their cable/satellite TV package in addition to Netflix.

“Recent announcements by Apple and Disney signify Netflix’s reign as the undisputed king of streaming services may be coming to an end,” said Lawrence. “It’s early in this massive shift of consumer attention from linear TV to OTT to make any calls just yet. As the percentage of Americans who stream content gets closer to 100% [from current 50%], there’s still growth potential for Netflix in the U.S.”