OTT-capable U.S. homes spent nearly a fifth (19%) of their television viewing time streaming in last year’s fourth quarter — up 10% versus early 2018, according to Nielsen’s just-released Total Audience Report for February.
The report, the first Nielsen has released since Apple and Disney launched their streaming services last November.
Nearly a third (31%) of streaming time was spent on Netflix, 21% on YouTube, 12% on Hulu and 8% on Amazon Prime Video, with the remaining 28% spent on other services.
In addition, Nielsen reports, its November 2019 survey of U.S. adults 18 or over who currently use streaming video and/or audio services found that 91% of all respondents and 96% of those 18 to 34 now subscribe to a paid streaming video service. Thirty percent of all respondents, and 47% of those 18 to 34, report subscribing to three or more.
In addition, 63% of respondents said they pay for at least one audio streaming subscription, and 53% said they pay for two.
In combination, U.S. adults now spend nearly 12 hours per day on TV, TV-connected devices, radio, computers, smartphones and tablets.
“That’s 1 hour and 24 minutes of additional media exposure across all platforms from third quarter 2018, which was driven by smartphone usage,” the report stresses. “Marketers and content creators have literally every waking hour of a consumers’ day to put forth their best messages.”
They certainly have a surplus of content choices. U.S. consumers had access to 646,152 unique program titles across linear and streaming services in 2019—up almost 10% from 2018, according to Nielsen Gracenote data cited in the report. About 9% of titles were available exclusively through an SVOD service.
Most-cited reasons for cancelling SVODs were not using the services enough to justify the costs (42%), and switching to free, ad-supported streamers (22%). Another 7% said they simply lost interest in streaming video; others complained about technical quality, or said that they’d only subscribed to watch a particular series.
And in a piece of fairly good news for MVPDs, 10% said they dropped SVODs to subscribe to a cable, satellite or fiber optic service.