Streaming Vs. TV: What's The Tipping Point?

When will things truly shift for TV streamers -- in five or 10 years? Consumers evolve and markets go with them. And then consumers pay. Follow the money? Maybe, we should follow the losses.

The latest data shows 82% of broadband users have at least one subscription service, according to Parks Associates. This comes against a now estimated 106 million U.S. broadband users.

What that means is unlike the 200 to 300 channels one typically gets on a traditional pay TV service, U.S. consumers are knowingly paying $4.99 to $14.99 extra for one, or two, on top of the $60 to $100 a month.

Those are bills consumers eye every month. This means they are pretty keen to watch stuff on streamers.

Let me put it this way: Those services are now added to a handful of all TV networks/platforms -- perhaps five to seven or so, out of 200 to 300 they regularly watch on traditional pay TV, such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ or Amazon Prime Video.



We know the spike here is also around the new shiny TV thing: CTV/OTT.

When looking at streaming minutes consumed by U.S. users, Nielsen says billions of minutes viewed are still going to industry leader Netflix. In its weekly reading of streaming, Nielsen doesn’t compare this to the billions of minutes on linear TV.

For the week ending May 9, Netflix had the top eight of 10 subscription VOD programs -- including the original movie “The Mitchells Vs.The Machines” -- pulling in 853 million minutes.

Looking at some select weeks over the past three months, Netflix either had eight or nine of the top programs (TV or movies). It had eight of the top 10 for the week ending March seven; then nine (March 28); nine (March 21); nine (April 4); 8 (April 18); eight (May 2); and eight (May 9).

Before we get too crazy here, some 80 million to 85 million U.S. TV homes are still regularly paying for traditional pay TV, resulting in large (though declining) viewing still coming their way.

Big question: Will real change happen when a majority of TV viewing becomes premium streaming versus traditional TV? Or, when traditional pay is less than half of TV homes -- around 40 million to 50 million?

Nielsen data says perhaps 20% of all TV viewing is on streaming now -- subscription, ad-supported, or other variations.

When streaming viewing gets over 50% is that when real change occurs? Who and what exactly gets tipped over?
Everyone seems to recognize the change -- though some are moving faster than others.

Are there any Blockbuster Video companies here?

1 comment about "Streaming Vs. TV: What's The Tipping Point?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 7, 2021 at 10:40 a.m.

    Wayne, as more and more streamers subscribe to one or more of the new TV network/cable/station SVOD/AVOD services---Disney+, Peacock, Paramount+, Warner Bros-Discovery, etc. --- they will be offered various bundles----many of which will give them many sources of content---cable channels and stations which offer both their own local fare----mainly news and sports---but also syndicated entries of many types---- as well as the full range of programming by the broadcast network they are affiliated with. While we at Media Dynamics Inc expect that most streamers will opt for two of these bundles---as opposed to all of them that they received via their cable system/satellite distributor---this will still amount to quite a few program sources per SVOD/AVOD subscriber---as a guess more than 100, including Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon,  etc.

    At the same time, we must recognize that heavy viewing oldsters and lowbrows are now joining in as streaming newbies and as this pattern continues these late comers ---who watch twice as much "TV" as the early adopting but light viewing streamers of 2017 and 2018---  will watch fairly large amounts of "linear TV" content which they will get via the TV programming sources named above. So, while the trade off is fewer channels used per streaming subscriber, this will not be a very small number on a weekly or monthly basis---perhaps 10-12 channels used per month as a norm compared to 14-18 for "linear"-only viewers.

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