Average number of video services per consumer climbs to 8.75 – TiVo study
The pandemic has unsurprisingly led to broader use of both free and subscription-based video services, but content discovery and rising prices are among the major pain points for many consumers in the streaming era, TiVo found in its Q2 2021 Video Trends Report.
Based on a survey of 4,500 adults in the US and Canada, TiVo's Q2 study found that the average number of services used by respondents jumped to 8.75 from 6.9 a year ago, a 27% increase. Survey respondents use an average of five paid services and 3.7 free, ad-supported services, TiVo said.
How consumers bundle their services vary, but the top three-service bundles among pay-TV consumers were:
- Pay-TV, short videos on YouTube and Netflix (45%)
- Pay-TV, short videos on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video (31%)
- Pay-TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (30%)
No specific three-service bundle among broadband-only customers dominated the landscape, but the top five among those surveyed were:
- Short videos on YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (7%)
- Short videos on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu (5%)
- Short videos on YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ (5%)
- Short videos on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Amazon Prime Video purchase/rentals (5%)
- Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu (4%)
TiVo's study also explored top consumer pain points for video, with a majority saying they struggle to find a good TV show or movie to watch, or have difficulty figuring out which service has everything they want to watch.
Meanwhile, voice-based search continues to gain adoption. Some 51% said they had access to voice search, up from 42% a year ago, and 71.3% said they used voice search, up slightly from 70.6% a year ago.
Advantages for aggregators
Offering a silver lining to pay-TV operators and streaming platforms that serve as aggregators of various types of video services and apps, about 86% of respondents said they are interested in paying for all of their video services from a single guide or interface.
And the cord-cutting trend has continued, with 11% of survey respondents saying they canceled pay-TV service within the last six months. About 73% of that group cited price as the primary reason for the decision.
Rising costs also factored into reasons for cutting a subscription VoD service. Some 37% cited raised prices, compared to 30% saying they weren't using the service enough, and 25% saying the service was not worth the price or that they needed to tighten their budgets.
Though pay-TV subscriber losses continue to mount, access to local content appears to be the glue holding it together. A majority of pay-TV customers (86%) surveyed said local content is important, compared to 65% of the broadband-only customers surveyed.
TV still the king of the screens
The TV remains the most-used screen type across various video service types. The TV was at the top for pay-TV services (77%), SVoD (60%), advertising-based VoD services (49%), and virtual multichannel programming distributor (vMVPD) services (42%).
TiVo's survey results also indicate that complementing subscription-only options with less expensive ad-supported tiers – such as the approach taken by the likes of Peacock, HBO Max, Hulu's SVoD service and Paramount+ – fits well with consumer desires. Some 83% said they wished paid streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offered a free, ad-supported option. While Netflix has so far steered clear of ad-based viewing models, Amazon does offer a free, ad-supported service with IMDb TV.
- HBO Max launches ad-supported tier
- Netflix gears up for gaming, with initial focus on mobile
- NBCU's Peacock premium streaming tiers to fetch $4.99 with ads, $9.99 without
- TiVo-owned Xperi sees pay-TV revenues dip 5% in Q2
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading