U.S. OTT Video Subscriptions To Leap 20% By 2026, Younger Viewers Driving Churn

Over-the-top video subscriptions in the U.S. will increase from nearly 230 million this year to more than 277 million in 2026, or more than 20% in five years, Parks Associates projects.

The research firm also reports that 80% of Millennials and Gen Zers say they view video on more than one platform at least monthly.

The new whitepaper on the evolving media landscape also confirms that younger generations are much more likely to view video on mobile devices (and, at least among Millennials and Gen Z, PCs), than boomers and the most “mature” segment (chart above).

As for subscription churn, the average OTT subscription in U.S. broadband households was about two-and-a-half years as of this year’s first half — and by-household subscription lengths have an  extremely strong correlation with age, according to the report.

Younger consumers tend to subscribe to a larger number of services than older ones, but they retain subscriptions for much shorter periods, on average.

To succeed in a streaming environment that will only become even more competitive in the next several years, brands need to “leverage new engagement data to help design new services and improve their customer support and retention strategies, offering value to consumers both at home on different platforms and on-the-go," stresses Parks Senior Analyst Kristen Hanich.

"To ensure a positive brand experience, media companies must consider a myriad of preferences and behaviors,” including age, viewing habits, interests, available time and platform preference, adds Dave Palmer, president of Everise, a tech outsourcing firm that partnered on the report. “The emergence of multiplatform viewing further drives the need for these brands to protect both themselves and their customers with a multichannel content moderation and omnichannel support strategy.”

For instance, the services should design support services that appeal to consumers at different life stages, who prefer different channels, and adapt as their needs evolve, Palmer says.

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