Streaming Video Services Now as Popular as Pay TV, Says the CTA
Viewers are embracing the freedom to stream video at any time on any device, and they're watching a lot more of it.
To prove the widespread popularity of streaming video, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) revealed today that the number of adults in the United States who stream from free or paid video subscription services (68 percent) is now roughly equal to the number of pay TV subscribers (67 percent). The CTA also showed that consumers now spend 51 percent of their viewing time on TVs and 49 percent watching video on other devices (including laptops, tablets, and phones).
Those changes are due to "content convenience," says CTA senior director of market research Steve Koenig. Viewers have constant access to video, and are embracing that freedom.
"We expect streaming subscribers to surpass paid TV services—and by a fair margin—in the next year or so," Koenig says.
Overall video viewing has grown considerably, thanks to the ubiquity of streamed content. Viewing time has risen by 32 percent from 2001 to today, up 3.2 hours per week from 12.7 hours to 16.8 hours.
Traditional advertising methods such as TV commercials help 56 percent of consumers find shows to watch, while 54 percent rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and 32 percent use internet searches.
The CTA's data comes from its report "The Changing Landscape for Video and Content."
In another streaming milestone, Leichtman Research Group revealed this week that more U.S. adults now live in a household with Netflix (54 percent) than live in a household with a DVR (53 percent).
The satellite providers gained ground in 2015, but only when Sling TV is factored in. AT&T U-verse lost the most of any single provider.
Millennials are least likely to see the value of pay TV services, but a demand for bundled offerings could help the cable and satellite companies.
11 percent of U.S. households have an SVOD account, but don't subscribe to pay TV, while streaming skinny bundles are still under 1 percent of the market.
The percent of households without cable, satellite, or telco TV service has more than doubled in five years, giving way to lower-revenue bundles.