Survey Says: The State of OTT Bundling in 2021
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Learn more about OTT bundling at Streaming Media West 2021.
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Jon Giegengack: Every year since 2013, each April, we've published a study called "The Best Bundle," and it happens to be on the exact topic that this panel is on. In a world where all of these standalone options exist, what are the bundles that people are creating on their own, and and how do they choose what providers they're including in those bundles? And just a few high-level findings: One thing that we've seen each year--and the pandemic really accelerated this--is that the average person is getting content from more sources than they've ever gotten content from before. So in the survey, they tell us all the different sources that they're using, and then we calculate an average that includes all of those categories written on the footnote at the bottom.
As you can see, in 2021, we got all the way up to 5.7. That includes cable. It includes streaming subscriptions. It includes AVOD and FAST platforms. It includes transactional buying individual titles. But really, the number of sources has never been higher.
And as we can see, the number of people who say they have a traditional pay TV subscription has dropped, but the number who say they stream from at least one platform is really about the same. So what's driving that big increase? The answer--and it's a really important answer--is that there's greater density. In 2021, 59% of all the respondents in this study said they used at least two of the five biggest streaming platforms. That was up from 51% last year. But when you think about it, 40% of people were using three or more than this year, up from 28% last year, and every one of those platforms has essentially hundreds, if not thousands of titles to watch. People are using more of them. The only thing that isn't expanding is the amount of time in the day to watch television. There's only 24 hours available to do anything during the day. And people are having to shoehorn a lot more content--exclusive content, really good content--into the same amount of time.
And we see that even among those people who are planning to add new providers--have they hit a threshold where they aren't going to add any more? Among people who say they plan to add new services in the future, three quarters of them say they're going to keep the providers they have, and these new providers will be in addition. Now, people aren't always the best, most reliable barometers of what they're actually going to do in the future, but at least attitudinally, we know there are many don't feel like they've hit a threshold yet. So that number could even grow a bit more.
And it's even higher among people who already have more platforms--they're actually more likely to add more platforms to their total than those who have fewer. And finally, when we look at people who are using more platforms, those people tend to be paying a lot more money. They're also more likely to say that they feel like their TV needs are being very well met. So more platforms usually means someone who feels like they're getting a better TV experience.
So it seems clear to us that people are really excited about all the options they have, all the new content to choose from, and that it's really important for TV providers to to enable them to easily use a large number of sources, make it easy to navigate them, to find what they want to watch next, and to get something on the screen with the smallest number of clicks.
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