Kathryn O’Shea is having difficulties. The Greenville, South Carolina, retiree is a recent cord-cutter, having switched from pay-TV to streaming video. O’Shea, like millions of other’s who have ditched their cables, satellite, or telecom bundles in favour of too many streaming services video-on-demand (SVOD), is now faced with an avalanche of subscription options, each with a price tag that rivals her former cable bill, compounded by rising high-speed internet costs.
She says, “I don’t even watch that much TV.” “I’m undecided about which service to use.”
She was persuaded to sign up for free trials of HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock, and Disney+ in addition to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime-Video (O’Shea uses Amazon for deliveries).
“Wonder Woman and that Denzel Washington movies [The Little Things] were two of my favourites,” she says. “It’s usually good Disney stuff.”
Consumer option’s for SVOD, in addition to a burgeoning market of ad-supported VOD (AVOD) and free ad-supported TV (FAST) too many streaming services, have surged following the 2020 launches of Max and Peacock, as well as Paramount+ and Discovery+ this year. When you add in a pandemic, data from Future Today shows that 36 percent of American consumers are now streaming more than they were before COVID-19 hit the headlines.
With a giggle, O’Shea says, “It’s like another infection.”
It’s a Streaming World Out There
Thanks to the proliferation of high quality films and series, many of which were developed just for the streamers, there has never been a better time to be a consumer of digital movies and episodic programming, thanks to the many platforms accessible.
However, with studios, media corporations, and third-party apps offering limitless programming across many platforms, distribution disarray and too many streaming services issues are becoming more prevalent.
The new content bundle includes tiredness.
Netflix’s Ted Sarandos told an investment group a few years ago, “There isn’t enough time in our lifetime to watch all that is available to stream.” The co-CEO/chief content officer should be aware of the situation. This year, he’s in charge of a $13.6 billion budget for original Netflix movies and TV shows. As a result of the record-breaking spending, other platforms such as HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock, and Amazon Prime Video are upping their game as well.
Has the rush to supplant the pricey cables bundle just produced a mirror image featuring escalating high-speed internet costs and a-la-carte streaming fees? With booming content buffets available across multiples platforms — some marketing early access to theatrical movies & episodic too many streaming services programming — has the rush to supplants the pricey cables bundle just produced a mirror image featuring escalating high speed internet costs and a-la-carte streaming fees?
A recent study of 2,600 people for the internet firm The Trade Desk found a tendency of “subscription weariness” among the respondents. Consumer fatigue is real as the streaming market continues to upset linear TV and upend content delivery — and the industry is taking attempts to fight it.
As the country adjusts to life after the pandemic, a Horowitz Research poll found that streaming has surpassed pay-TV household penetration, and consumer time spent watching OTT video is bridging the gap between time spent watching broadcast too many streaming services and time spent watching OTT video. According to Nielsen, 35% of consumers spent their TV viewing time in May streaming content or playing video games. This is an increase from 20% in 2020 and 14% in 2019.
Consumers’ streaming options, on the other time, entail monthly charges ranging from $4.99 to $17.99. According to a TiVo survey, people between the ages of 18 and 30 use more than 11 different video streaming services on a monthly basis, while those 50 and up use at least three. According to the TiVo study, the average consumer now spends $142.20 per month on high-speed internet and SVOD, which is much more than the average $100 cable subscription.
Rising streaming costs, according to John Buffone, a media analyst with The NPD Group, are a rebranding of the old pay-TV bill.
In a statement to the media, Buffone stated, “One of the things we’re looking at is the potential for re-bundling down the road.” “By providing a single paying connection, user interface, and savings, re-bundling has substantially benefited viewers.”
That’s what irritates consumers like O’Shea, who says it’s difficult to remember what platform a favourite show is available on – and when she can watch it.
She says, “It hurts my head.”
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It’s all about the numbers.
According to Horowitz, SVOD subscriptions among pay-TV viewers climbed from 50% to 74% between 2018 and 2021, with the lack of live sports during the pandemic in 2020 cited as another motivating cause for cord-cutting. According to the survey, more than 33% of pay-TV subscribers have cut the cord, up from 23% in 2020 too many streaming services.
More than 66 percent of respondents in the Trade Desk poll said growing fees are a source of annoyance, with nearly 60 percent saying they spend too much money on several OTT subscriptions. According to the survey, subscription fatigue may also be defined as the burnout that consumers experience when presented with more options for unique content.
There are roughly 40 different streaming video platforms in India, for example, including Disney + Hotstar, which started last year. Through the most recent fiscal period, Indian consumers made up 33% of Disney+’s global subscriber base of 116 million, owing in part to the platform’s exclusive streaming access to professional cricket. The average Indian responder subscribed to at least three too many streaming services to suit a variety of content preferences, according to the survey.
Netflix, which has struggle to establish itself in the world’s second most populous country, now offers Indian viewers two options: a low-cost mobile phone plan with limited content and standard tiered options.
On a recent fiscal call, Sarandos noted, “Growth in that country is a marathon.” “We’re in it for the long run,” says the team.
Is it possible to have too much?
In Deloitte’s 2021 Digital Media Survey, more than half of respondents stated they are re-evaluating multiple streaming subscriptions, with 40% saying they want to cancel at least one. In comparison to the 2019 study, a number of respondents ranked gaming and music too many streaming services higher than streaming video. SVOD fatigue is particularly noticeable because it corresponds with a global slowdown in subscriber growth. According to the research, Netflix only met 66% of their recent sub growth predictions till the third quarter.
According to Adriana Waterston, SVP of Horowitz’s insights and strategy, streamers are feeling overwhelmed, with 50% of survey respondents saying there are many services, which leads to less content from major media brands being available on streaming giants like Netflix, according to the analyst.
According to the expert, too many streaming services viewers are having difficulty staying connected to their favourite content: 49% of TV content viewers say it’s difficult to figure out which shows are available on which streaming services, and 44% say it’s difficult to find anything to watch at all.
Waterston says thats in the early days of streaming, media corporations were worried that their network brands would be irrelevant in the new ecosystem, especially with so much content from so many networks pooled under the Netflix umbrella. With the market shifting toward standalone streaming platforms to compete with Netflix, media brands are becoming more important than ever.
Waterston says, “We are in a really interesting, pivotal period.”
It’s All About the Size
Subscribers to pay-TV services used to pay for access to up to 500 linear channel’s. Now, SVOD platform’s are essentially doing the same thing, with the goal of luring consumers with low-cost monthly subscriptions. According to Ampere Analysis’ research, the majority of survey respondents in the United States consider themselves “super stackers,” with 52 percent of households now having three or more SVOD subscriptions, up from 45 percent a year ago.
Multiple SVOD memberships are also being driven by social media. According to Ampere, television is a larger part of the debate on social media platforms in the United States than in other nations. According to the research organisation, increased competition among domestic streamers has resulted in consumers spending less time watching contents on each of the services they have access to.
“There are definitely significant changes in how individuals consume television,” says Annabel Yeomans, a senior analyst too many streaming services. “In the United States, television is a considerably bigger part of daily life and social interaction than it is in other nations.
“We’ve seen how this affects not only stacking rates, but also the increased demand for quality original content as streamers compete to engage subscribers and attract new audiences in the last six months.”
As the SVOD industry expands, Netflix’s market share continues to dwindle. According to JustWatch, a international too many streaming services guide thats tracks more than 20 million viewers per month across 54 countries, Prime Video increased its market share by 3% in the second quarter of this year (ending June 30). Due to the importance of e-commerce during the pandemic, many believe Amazon added a higher number of new subs this year than the competition.
In the second quarter, Amazon’s online sales increased by 16 percent to $53.1 billion. While Prime memberships doubled, the average member’s SVOD subscriptions increased from 2.6 to 2.8, which is much less than the nationals average of 3.8 streaming services. This, according to Ampere, indicates that Prime subscribers have less streaming competition and are obtaining what they need from fewer services.
Through September 30, Netflix has surpassed 214 million customers globally, exceeding the company’s — and industry’s — expectations. According to Digital TV Research, Amazon Prime Video has 150 million users, while Disney+ is expected to surpass Netflix’s subscriber total with 284 million by 2026.
The news is a bit of a comeback for Netflix after a disappointing second quarter in sorts of subscriber growth, as the market grows more competitive and consumer service stacking threatens to undermine the SVOD pioneer’s dominance. While Netflix’s market share dwarfs the competition, continued platform saturation may lead to Netflix subscribers switching to a different model. Prime Video and Hulu are two of the most popular stacks.
Analysts warn Netflix to be wary of the situation, as the cost of stacking services rises, saving money is cited by Netflix subscribers as a reason for cancelling the service, according to Ampere.
Michael Pachter, a media analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, says he utilises the Roku search engine to identify content and avoid jumping from platform to platform. Pachter says that he still spends the same amount on streaming as he does on pay television. If investors continue to value Netflix at $1,500 per subscriber, the longtime Netflix bear believes that content owners will pursue the streaming business model.
“I don’t see an & to the proliferation too many streaming services,” Pachter says, “and believe that their existence will continue to degrade content accessible on traditional broadcast, lowering cable’s appeal and causing even more consumers to cut the cord.” “It’s a never-ending circle with no end out.”
An remedy is emerging as the cost of stacking numerous streaming subscriptions climbs. Ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming TV FAST platforms are growing popularity among viewers who are happy to sits through ads in exchange for free content. Facebook Watch, Redbox-TV, The Roku Channel, Tubi, Pluto TV, Crackles, and IMDb TV are just a few of the free AVOD/FAST platforms available.
Ad-supported free streaming distribution is the balm that heals all streaming wounds, according to Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corp. Rather of investing billions on original content and attempting to extort a few extra dollars a month from consumers, Murdoch plans to move original and branded Fox content to the media company’s Tubi platform, which will be available to all viewers for free.
In March, Murdoch told an investment group, “We don’t want to compete in the subscription video-on-demand universe.” “We believe we can wins in the advertising video on demand era… by being far more cautious and astute.”
According to Hub’s annual “Monetization of Video” survey, tiered platforms — where viewers can choose between a premium ad-free alternative and a less expensive (or free) ad-supported one – appeal to the broadest audience.
Respondents were divided into two categories in a June 2021 poll of 1,607 U.S. TV viewers aged 16 to 74. Each group was given three hypothetical streaming services with equal content to pick from. Group one was given the option of paying for an ad-free membership, a free-with-ads service, or a premium limited-ads subscription too many streaming services (“fewer ads than you’d see on ordinary live TV”). Group two had the same options as Group 1, with the exception that the limited-ads service had been replaced with a paid service with two tiers to pick from: ad-free and ad-supported. Consumers chose the service with tiered alternatives almost twice as often (36%) as the service with a limited-ad option exclusively (19 percent ).
The limited ads-only service received a far lower percentage of the market than either the premium ad-free or free-with-ads services. The proportion choosing the tiered service, on the other hand, was nearly high to that choosing the free-with-ads option and higher than that choosing the service with only one ad-free choice.
“It’s true that some TV viewers will go to great lengths to avoid ads, including paying a premium. However, many people would watch for ad-supported television if it saves them money or allows them to watch material that they can’t get anywhere else,” says Jon Giegengack, one of the study’s authors.
In a separate Future Today survey, 50.6 percent of respondents stated they chose AVOD over SVOD to save money.
“We’re seeing AVOD adoption expand, despite some pundits’ projections,” Vikrant Mathur, CEO of Future Today, said in a statement. “Our findings show that, when combined with the optimal viewing experience, the ad-supported streaming model is beneficial for content creators too many streaming services, marketers, and, most importantly, viewers.”
In the Hub study, 40 percent of HBO Max members said they’d consider switching to an AVOD choice before the ad-supported HBO Max option launched this summer. However, more than an quarter of those who did not subscribe to Max stated that they would consider doing so in the future.
According to a TiVo research, 58 percent of AVOD consumers don’t mind commercials or ads when watching TV. Another 81 percent indicated they would rather use free ad-supported streaming than pay for a premium service, while 83 percent said Netflix or Prime Video should subscribe a free ad-supported option.
“Tiered plans allow viewers to choose how they want to spend their experience. “Whether they watch with ads or without,” Giegengack says, “everyone is getting an experience that they chose, not one that was chosen for them.”
The Empire Retaliates
Media businesses are pushing back as rumours about the number and cost of SVOD platforms spread.
Hulu, HBO Max, and NBCUniversal’s Peacock are all looking into cheaper AVOD possibilities, with Paramount+ also considering an ad-supported version. Netflix France began testing “Direct” in November, a feature that allows users to just connect into their account and begin streaming pre-selected content without having to search for it.
“Many viewers prefer the idea of content that prevents having to choose what they will watch in France, where traditional TV consumption is quite popular,” Emily Grewal, product manager at Netflix, wrote in a blog post.
The market may be saturated, with 75 percent of US consumers using too many streaming services. To be delighted on FAST platforms, you only need a few clicks. To some, it appears to be a throwback to the broadcast era, when viewers flipped on the television without regard for cost or content.
“What’s old is new again in a lot of respects,” says Howard Horowitz, head of Horowitz Research. “With the capacity to search and discover content across all networks in their package, the pay-TV industry’s managed-services strategy helped consumers moderate the turmoil of a multichannel ecosystem.” Consumers are increasingly expecting universal search tools in the streaming environment to enable them browse across all of their streaming apps for the same reason.”