Streaming viewers are largely backing the efforts of striking writers and actors and plan to seek out alternative programming such as reruns, streaming TV originals not yet consumed and other content if their favorite shows become unavailable, according to new research from Horizon Media.
The data shows that viewers are “on the side” of writers (45%) and actors (39%) versus the studios (9%), networks (8%) or streaming services (9%).
Although there are concerns about ever-increasing monthly consumer streaming fees, when asked whether they would pay more for streaming/TV services to help those writers/actors who are demanding better pay, 28% said “yes.”
For those who support the strikers, that number climbs to 38%. Younger viewers -- ages 18-25 and 26-34 -- are even more supportive when it comes to paying more, at 46% and 41% respectively.
Overall, more than half of viewers surveyed are aware of the strikes from Writers Guild of America (52%) and Screen Actors Guild-AFTRA (58%). Horizon says this is 11 percentage points higher than other labor disputes.
In other results, viewers plan to re-watch old shows at 47%, find original shows/movies on streaming platforms not yet seen at 35%, partake in other non-entertainment activities at 28%, and look to new genres of entertainment at 25%.
Social-media activity has spiked in response to the strikes, Horizon says. In the 72 hours following the announcement of the writers strike, there were nearly 800,00o posts. Following the actors' strike start, there were 1.1 million posts.
Horizon’s July 18-19, 2023 survey came from 600 U.S. respondents age 18 years and older, and was weighted to be representative of age, ethnicity, region, and income.