Often Too Much To Watch, But OTT Keeps Making Gains

The new Digitalsmiths Q2 Video Trends Report is a fascinating jumble of facts and stats that make you keep exclaiming, “Ah-hah!” or words to that effect.

Like this: According to the report, 11.3% now pay $21-$30 a month for their SVOD services, which is up 5.5% over the last three years.

The biggest bunch of us--27.84%--pay $9-$11, which is code for saying: “I subscribe to Netflix.”

Here’s a stat I’ve never noticed before: 10.4% say they don’t pay anything at all because somebody else (like mom and dad, or somebody else’s mom and dad) do. That’s a “positive thing,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has reportedly said, about the shared accounts, because it means the freeloaders will be easier to convert later.

This survey of more than 3,000 consumers, 18 and above, confirms that 64%  pay for at least one subscription to an OTT pay streaming service, up from 58% a year ago.  And while 54% of them say they get Netflix, many want it to stay as it is --29.3% say they won’t pay a dime more per month to get it.

But 39.1% say they would pay $12-$15 a month, an astounding 1.7% would pay from $28-$31 per month and 1.4% would pay even more than $32. Richie Rich lives. 

I would think more people would say they subscribe to SVOD services for their original content. But it’s ninth on a list of 11, in which respondents could mark “all that apply.”  Convenience topped the list of reasons, but the second-biggest bunch--47.4% -- marked “no ads.”  

That pure and pretty massive revulsion toward advertising always gets me. (It also surprised me that yesterday, CBS said it would offer an ad-free version of its All-Access service. It seems somehow disloyal that the network that made commercial broadcasting an American institution would so easily offer a way out for consumers.)

The most telling stat in the whole report, in my opinion, was the tabulation that reveals ESPN wouldn’t even finish in the top 20 of cable channels these poll respondents would choose if they were picking their own bundle. (ESPN finishes 22nd).

Just as fascinating is the whole contradiction of all the content choice thrown before us. About 33% of sports fans are stymied trying to find the game they’re looking. Overall, nearly 66% of the respondents said they “always” or “sometimes” are frustrated trying to find something to watch. Some 40% use buzz on social media as a guide, and a little more one in four also contribute their advice. It’s true what they say: Everybody’s a critic.

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