Consumers are voting with their wallets in favor of subscription video services. Driven by the strength and near-ubiquity of Neflix, subscription VOD services have become more popular than ad-supported online streaming from sites like Hulu, according to a Hub Research study. The report found that in 2015, about 47% of U.S. consumers subscribed to an online streaming service, and that number jumped a whopping 21 points to 68% this year.
Netflix carries the load, but Amazon and Hulu’s subscription video services are growing too, by 59% and 60% over last year, Hub said. More consumers are using multiple SVOD services too. About 37% have two or more SVOD services, up from 19% who had more than one a year ago, the research found.
This trend potentially moves OTT services to a more competitive footing with multichannel TV services from cablers and the like.
Netflix is poised to keep growing and reaping the benefits of consumer viewing habits. Two-thirds of TV consumers say it delivers a good or excellent value. Interestingly, that’s a higher rating than the free version of Hulu, which received favorable reviews from 61%.
But never fear: Ad-supported content isn’t going away.
YouTube is still a dominant player. In fact, Bernstein Research predicted that YouTube will in time become bigger than most “ legacy media companies” and shift even more dollars to the Internet. The site is doing that with a small portion of content. The top 1% of YouTube channels comprise 93% of all its views since YouTube began, the firm said. That’s why the video giant is betting on its top creators to draw eyeballs and brands that want to reach those consumers.
Stock analysis firm Amigo Bulls has predicted that YouTube will grow at 21% for the next four years, earnings $27.4 billion in revenues then, according to a TubeFilter report.
Those numbers are quite high, so only time will tell.
Meanwhile, YouTube has said that the number of hours spent watching YouTube on TVs doubled in the fourth quarter, and among teens, eight of the top 10 most influential celebs are YouTube stars. Also, six in 10 YouTube subscribers say their opinion on a brand has been influenced by a YouTube video star.