Too Many Streaming Services, Say Millennials

New research discovers the first signs of 'OTT fatigue,' with younger respondents increasingly concerned about the cost of adding up these services.

Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation

August 25, 2017

3 Min Read
Too Many Streaming Services, Say Millennials

A new survey from researcher Morning Consult found that the proliferation of OTT streaming services may already be taxing young audiences.

According to the survey, 57% of 18 to 29 year olds agreed that there are too many streaming services, and 42% already felt they were paying too much for them. This was despite the fact that 26% weren't spending any money at all on these services, and the majority were subscribing to two or less.

In fact, according to the survey, most Americans are spending $10 or less on streaming, although the average for millennials is slightly higher.

Younger viewers are also more likely to find alternatives to paid services. In another survey conducted between August 17 and August 19, 63% of all respondents did not share their streaming service passwords, but 56% did among 18 to 29 year olds. The same survey also found that while 46% of all respondents said pirating movies, TV shows or music counted as theft, 44% of millennial respondents did not consider it so.

The study was conducted soon after CBS and Disney announced plans to launch their own global streaming services, and in Disney's case, discontinue its relationship with Netflix. And earlier today, Viacom announced it would be launching its own Nordic SVoD service, Paramount+, though in partnership with local pay-TV providers. (See Disney Joins OTT Bandwagon and CBS Streaming Service to Expand Globally.)

While cord-cutting has savaged the pay-TV business over the past two years, and consumers have begun pushing back hard against relentless pay-TV price increases, the current OTT model might not be the answer. We have written in the past about frustration setting in as OTT services proliferate and users have to keep adding services to get the content they want. (See Are Cord-Cutting's Days Numbered?)

It may be that we are seeing the first signs of this among millennials. Fifty-five percent of millennials said they were willing to subscribe to a streaming service to watch a particular show -- but 42% also complained about the cost, and 73% said they wished all the shows they wanted to see were available on a single service.

Millennials are a demanding group: They want all their content on a single service and they don't want to pay much for it. And of course, they want all the things that this survey doesn't explicitly address: high quality of experience, on-demand access, trick-play functionality, a near infinite library of content, the latest releases, etc...

If OTT providers can find a way to do this and meet the cost expectations of millennials, then they will snap up future generations of video consumers. But if not, then it's at least possible that disgruntled cord-cutters start to look around for better alternatives, perhaps within the pay-TV universe. It's equally as vital that pay-TV providers develop products that can meet the needs of these consumers, or at least their most important ones.

— Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation

About the Author(s)

Aditya Kishore

Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation

Aditya Kishore is the Principal Analyst at Diametric Analysis, a consultancy focused on analysing the disruptive impact of Internet distribution on the video and telecom sectors, and developing the necessary strategies and technology solutions required to drive profitability. He can be reached at [email protected]

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