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

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kq4ym 9/10/2017 | 8:46:59 AM
Re: exactly As lots of folks try to cut costs, it's seemingly a gamble for Disney and others to expect a mass enrollment to their subscription services. There's probably still a great number of families out there with the income and enough young kids to keep it going though.
Joe Stanganelli 9/2/2017 | 1:10:00 PM
Re: exactly @KBode: Piracy isn't (and really has never been) the threat that Hollywood claims it to be.

HBO, for its part, while it makes reasonable efforts to prevent egregious piracy, isn't particularly peeved or put out by the fact that Game of Thrones, as arguably the most popular show in the world, is by far the most pirated show in the world. They understand that their biggest fans -- the ones who are the most valuable from a bottom-line perspective -- aren't going to give up their HBO Go subscriptions just because there are dark places on the Internet to find those episodes for free (even if sometimes in advance via leaks).
Joe Stanganelli 9/2/2017 | 1:07:02 PM
Re: Ah, my sweet summer child... @Michelle: Oh, now I know what you're talking about. Yes, that's why I stopped relying on Hulu altogether years ago -- not to mention why I fell out of watching certain shows (because I just couldn't keep up because of Hulu's inflexibility).
Michelle 8/31/2017 | 10:50:43 PM
Re: Ah, my sweet summer child... You make a good point -- 20 years is a long time. Perhaps they'll do a good enough job...
KBode 8/31/2017 | 5:04:06 PM
Re: Ah, my sweet summer child... Maybe Comcast won't fiddle around and try to keep the service from being too disruptive to traditional cable, but having watching them work for 20 years I have a hard time believing it. They're doing an ok job avoiding the cord cutting downturn thanks to their growing monopoly over broadband in many markets, but I doubt they want to encourage any additional competition for traditional TV. 
Michelle 8/31/2017 | 4:42:40 PM
Re: Ah, my sweet summer child... Ahh, I hadn't thought of the agreement and what might happen once that portion expires. We could see some changes in Hulu content delivery in the near future.
KBode 8/31/2017 | 4:39:44 PM
Re: Ah, my sweet summer child... I agree. 

They have gotten a lot better in the last few years though. For a long time Hulu's owners really only wanted it to be a glorified ad for tradiitional TV. That sentiment has changed, though the merger condition keeping Comcast from co-manaing things expires soon, which I bet shifts the trajectory yet again back to being more of a complement to existing cable services. 
KBode 8/31/2017 | 4:38:20 PM
Re: exactly I tend to agree. But they're running scared now after those massive valuation hits once Wall Street and cable execs finally realized cord cutting was a real thing and not a Millennial hallucination. But I think they really risk driving people back to piracy if they field too many streaming platforms with too many confusing exclusivity silos. 
wanlord 8/30/2017 | 2:57:06 PM
exactly This is exactly why I think Disney's goal to seperate from Netflix is a bad idea. I don't think it will bomb like Go90 (on life support) because Disney actually has great content, but it's a mistake not to partner and share talent, resources, infrastructure, marketing, etc. Maybe Disney wants to focus on Ad Revenue which is something Netflix doesn't seem to want to do.
Michelle 8/29/2017 | 2:12:34 PM
Re: Ah, my sweet summer child... Yup. We decided to watch something from a current series and found only the latest 5 episodes available.

We pay for the no-ad subscription. There are limited ads for some current programs. Hulu is a good idea, but poorly executed. The should give subscribers more incentive to keep the service. Things like expiring shows and limited commercials (EVEN THOUGH YOU PAY) are annoying. 
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