46% Of U.S. Broadband Households Now Subscribe To Multiple OTT Services

Nearly half (46%) of U.S. broadband households now subscribe to two or more over-the-top services, according to a video services trend report from Parks Associates.

That’s up 130% from the 33% that subscribed to multiple services in 2014, says the research firm. 

Also, 53% of U.S. broadband households now subscribe to at least one OTT service and a pay-TV service; and nearly three quarters subscribe to an OTT video service (up from 52% in 2014). 

“The number of OTT services available in the U.S. increased by 140% in five years, giving consumers an unprecedented number of options,” noted Parks Associates Senior Analyst Steve Nason. 

“Most OTT households are anchored by one of the three major services — Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video — but consumers are finding they can’t fulfill all their interests through a single service. Many small and medium-sized services are building their brand and subscriber base by filling in these gaps in content.” 

However, about 90 of the growing number of services now available in the U.S. have fewer than 50,000 subscribers, and 72 have fewer than 20,000, according to the report. 

Trends shaping video services partnerships include intense competition, content providers’ move to launching direct-to-consumer offerings, a lack of differentiation among OTT services, and existing infrastructure and consumer relationships among larger players. 

“While overall adoption and awareness of OTT video services as a category are high, awareness of any specific individual service is low, which will make it difficult for smaller services to match the scale, revenues, and marketing efforts of larger players,” points out the report.

Nearly three in 10 OTT services in the U.S. are on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels aggregation platform, up more than four times versus two years ago.

“Netflix can afford to license high-value content like ‘Seinfeld’ to supplement its original content, and Apple can buy commercial space during the Emmys and NFL games to promote its upcoming Apple TV+ service and its array of content and stars,” adds Nason.  But smaller OTT services “are having to harness the power of a partnership with an aggregator, bundling or content partner, or marketing and promotion partner to boost awareness of their brand and offerings.”

Parks Associates conducts quarterly online surveys with global online sampling/digital first-party data collection/marketing insights company Dynata (rebranded from Research Now after its January merger with SSI). Dynata’s survey panel is recruited via email, using rewards points or other incentives (see its site for more panel methodology specifics). Parks sets demographic quotas for its surveys (updated each year based on broadband user data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Pew) to ensure its sample reflects U.S. heads of household ages 18+ who have at-home broadband internet. At least 10,000 U.S. broadband households are surveyed each quarter, for a margin of error that does not exceed +/- 0.98%.

4 comments about "46% Of U.S. Broadband Households Now Subscribe To Multiple OTT Services".
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  1. M Cohen from marshall cohen associates, October 3, 2019 at 1:33 p.m.

    Karlene, It is really disgraceful to report on the results of a survey, use the terms “46% of US Broadband Households” in the headline and not provide the reader with a) sample size, b) dates of interviewing, c) how respondents were invited to the survey, d) if there was a respondent incentive, and d) the sampling error rates (+ or – what percent?).
    If you are going to cover consumer research, then do what all reputable media do; provide the complete methodology from the research effort. It is the only way that professionals can decide if the work is appropriate, valid, reliable and projectable to the population it purports to represent. Thank you.

  2. Karlene Lukovitz from MediaPost, October 3, 2019 at 3:44 p.m.

    Totally right, of course, Marshall, and thanks for pointing out the lapse. Ironically, I'm usually the first to complain if methodology basics are not provided in such coverage (having had survey methodology/statistics beaten into me at SU's Newhouse School). I can only plead haste for this oversight. I've now duly inserted the info in the text (or as much as is practical in a news story--see link for more specifics). While I'm at it, here's my own request to all companies that release survey data: Please help journalists by including those methodological basics in the first place, at least in a footnote at bottom.  

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 3, 2019 at 4:24 p.m.

    Glad to see more information about the study Karlene and Marshall. One small point. "Margin of error" calculations based on sample size do not tell you whether the findings are accurate. They merely give you the odds that you may get the same answer if the study is repeated in exactly the same manner. I'm sure that you both understand this but you would be surprised to see how many people in our business and elsewhere believe that you can determine a survey's accuracy---in the sense that the findings are correct----based merely on its sample size. This is the kind of thinking that leads many to assume that if you use a sample size of 1 million you are certain to obtain far more accurate results than with a sample of 20,000. Not so.

  4. John Grono from GAP Research, October 3, 2019 at 6:58 p.m.

    Thank you Marshall and Ed.

    As Ed points out, the SE reflects the variability within the sasmple, and not the population.

    So Karlene, my preference is to NOT report the findings at the story lead, but include the methodology, sample size, time frame, coverage, SE etc. in a preamble, and THEN report its findings.

    In that way as a learned person reads the results and data then CONTEXT can be added to the 'findings'.    Non-representative sampling bias can't be quantified, but we need to be upfront about it.

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