Although U.S. consumers of TV content continue to abandon traditional pay TV services, those same consumers are also find replacements that may have similar ease to a single-source service.
When asked what the first source is that respondents turn to when powering on their TV sets, Hub Entertainment Research says the top “default source” remains live pay TV services -- cable, satellite, virtual, telco -- at 28%. Adding in similar virtual pay TV services brings that number to 32%.
Netflix is close behind at 23%. Then there is a drop-off -- especially to those Netflix wannabes.
Hulu -- now one of the oldest premium on-demand streaming services -- comes in at 6%, followed by Amazon Prime Video at 5%; Disney+ (3%); HBO Max (2%). Also in the mix are DVR (8%); over-the-air antenna (5%); live, virtual pay TV (5%); pay TV video-on-demand (2%).
The survey was conducted with 1,600 U.S. adult TV watchers who were polled by Hub in August.
Looking at this another way, Hub says the big streamers (Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max) are tied for third place -- 16%.
While this group has been narrowing the gap compared to Netflix, the leading subscription on-demand platform excels in another key measure.
When respondents were asked if you had dropped all your services but one, what would you choose? Netflix was at a strong 30% number, close to a traditional live pay TV service at 37%.
The research seems to indicate that U.S. consumers of TV content continue to seek not only ease of operations when it comes to their viewing, but perhaps just one single TV source/access point.
All that comes down to diversity of content -- which is why streamers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max are looking to fit this bill by offering wide-ranging programming -- sports, scripted, unscripted, news and other.
One key question is: Can they really achieve this goal of being everything to everyone? Probably not.
If you think this is possible, where does this leave more niche services -- ESPN+, discovery+ and Fox Nation? Does one also need to add YouTube and maybe Peloton to an “other” group?
Hub adds this complication: Currently, typical TV consumers use, on average, 7.4 different sources of TV content. This indicates that offering one simple TV entry point -- at the moment -- is not enough in an world of endless choice when it comes to TV and streaming.