U.S. consumers’ consumption of most media — including paid streaming services — has declined over the past three months, although consumption of free streaming services is stable to slightly up.
That’s according to the latest surveys by consumer research platform Attest, conducted among a sample from its panel of 1,000 consumers who are nationally representative of working-age, U.S.-based consumers. The surveys concluded on October 3, 2022 and January 3, 2023.
Asked about their daily viewing habits, the number indicating that they generally watch no paid video streaming services increased rose by 2.8 percentage points -- from 12.3% in October to 15.1% in January (chart above).
Attest notes that inflation may be starting to affect paid streaming services.
While those watching between one and two hours per day rose by 2 percentage points, those watching two to four hours declined by 1 percentage point and those watching more than four hours declined by 3 points. In addition, those who say they watch such paid services less than 30 minutes per day rose slightly.
Meanwhile, those reporting that they watch no free streaming services dipped by 1 point, from 34.4% in October to 33.2% in January.
And while those watching free streamers more than four hours declined by 2 points, those watching between one and two hours rose by 2 points. Most of the other watch-time categories were more or less stable.
Attest also asked about consumption of leading specific video streaming services, although it did not differentiate between the paid and free tiers of some of these services.
Asked which of 15 services they watch at least once per week, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu retained their top three positions, but saw their shares drop: Netflix from 70.1% in October to 68.3% in January, Prime Video from 47.3% to 46.8%, and Hulu from 47.2% to 42.6%.
Disney+ experienced the biggest loss: down 5.4 percentage points, from 37.7% to 32.3%.
YouTube TV fell 3.9 points to 19.1%, and Apple TV+ declined 3.8 percentage points, to 12%.
Peacock was the
only service seeing a notable increase: up 3.4 percentage points, to 29.5%. Paramount held its own, edging up by less than a point.
Linear TV (termed “live TV” in the results) also basically held its own. Just under 23% in both surveys reported that they watch none of this TV. Those watching from one to two hours, from two to four hours, and less than 30 minutes were all up somewhat, while those watching for between 30 minutes and an hour and those watching more than four hours were down somewhat.
Looking at other media, Attest reports that daily usage of some of the largest social media sites “plunged” in Q4. The number of daily users for Instagram dropped 8.7 points, to 33.7% Facebook was down 7 points, to 56%, and Snapchat was down 8.1 points, to 20.4%.
Even TikTok saw declines, with those reporting themselves to be daily users down 5.5 points, to 29.2%, and those using it at all down 6.9 points, to 61.1%.
The one platform showing growth was newcomer BeReal: Those reporting that they use it at all rose 12.5 points, to 27.7%.
Audio saw declines in daily listeners across radio, streamed music and audiobooks. Declines in weekly listeners among five leading music streaming platforms bumped YouTube music back into first place, at 41%.
Subscribers to news media subscriptions were essentially flat, at 39%, although the numbers visiting news websites or apps weekly fell 1.9 points, to 57.8%, and weekly readership of digital magazines declined 2.7 points, to 30.3%.
Weekly readers of newspapers declined 5.6 points, to 26.5%, and weekly readers of print magazines declined 4.2 points, to 25.5%.
OK, John, I'm going to mute myself and ask you to do the honors on this one.
So, for the first time in history, media consumption falls as the weather gets colder and people do fewer things outside the home. Really?
Leo, we should give poor John in Australia a shot at this beauty but by the time he reads the article we may be in bed dreaming about important developments---like the Metaverse. One thing, though. I don't think that this approach will be "certified" by the new "JIC" that is evaluating alternative TV time buying "currencies"---or will it?
Oh Ed. How kind of you. But where to start?
Well, I started with the first graph on 'average day' results. The thing that stood out to me was that the graph had six components ranging from 'generally, none' to 'more than 4 hours', however the legend had eight response options.
The first 'itch' was the use of broad time intervals (which is not earth-shatteringly precise) but apparently good enough to report to two decimal places in several cases. I suppose that must be is OK because the panel size was n=1,000 which just happens to equate to two decimal places when reported as percentages.
But it also dawned on me that the two additional response options were 'N/A' and 'None'.
So the second 'itch' was that as the responses totalled to 100% it means that everyone watches at least some TV on the average day. Given that TV is a 'dying medium' how can that be? I think the TV ratings would probably report that something like a quarter to third of the population would not watch ant TVon the average day.
So, which data set would YOU think is more robust?