Streaming Users Beginning To Feel Video Subscription Fatigue

We are in a golden age of streaming video, with subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Sling TV, YouTube TV and others offering more content to consumers than ever before. 

Of course, there are also a myriad of free offerings from the likes of Pluto TV and Tubi TV, and more subscription services will enter the market in the next year, with Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal set to to release options of their own.

Unfortunately for those services that are yet to launch, many consumers are already beginning to feel subscription fatigue, according to Hub Entertainment Research.

Hub found that 24% of consumers say they already have too many streaming services, and don’t intend to subscribe to new ones. That number is up from 14% a year earlier. In addition, 36% of respondents said they would cancel an existing service before subscribing to a new one.

“The TV landscape is approaching zero-sum status, with more consumers insisting they’d drop an existing service before adding a new one,” says Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. “That puts added pressure on all TV services—including those on the way from Disney, Apple, and WarnerMedia—to offer the type of value that consumers feel they can’t live without.”

Hub’s research showed that consumers watch video from an average of 4.5 sources, spanning both traditional TV subscriptions, video subscription services, and free streaming video platforms. Households with kids watched video from an average of 5.2 sources.

The “big three” of streaming, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, continue to hold a dominant market share, with 70% of households using at least one of the services. The number of households that subscribe to at least two of those three services, meanwhile, rose by 7% in the past year.

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