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Half of Americans Pay for Two or More of the ‘Big 4’ Streaming Services
The emergence of Disney+ and the COVID-19 pandemic have spurred subscriber growth, new data from Hub Entertainment Research indicates
The number of TV viewers with multiple streaming subscriptions continues to grow, as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates the average American viewer’s shift towards streaming.
New research shared by Hub Entertainment Research drove that point home. The research firm found 50% of Americans surveyed last month paid for at least two of the “big 4” streaming services: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. That’s up from about one-third of viewers who had two of the top services last year, Hub principal analyst Jon Giegengack told TheWrap.
Giegengack made sure to point out there’s a key difference from 2019: The big 4 was only a “big 3” at this time last year, considering Disney+ didn’t launch until last November. Its entrance into the streaming world, coupled with widespread lockdown orders, has helped boost the number of Americans with multiple streaming services. And, not coincidentally, Hub found there’s been a decline from 34% to 23% of respondents over the last year who only subscribe to one major streaming service.
Hub’s report surveyed 1,600 Americans in August who have internet service and range from age 16 to 74.
“[Here’s] why this matters: All of these providers offer hundreds or thousands of titles, and they’re also the largest producers of brand new content,” Giegengack said. ” The amount of time the average consumer has to watch TV has grown during the pandemic, but not nearly as much as the options available to fill it.”
And perhaps the biggest standout from Hub’s research, though, was that 10% of respondents subscribed to all four of the top streaming services.
Hub’s research comes after several streamers reported major subscriber growth during the second quarter — the first full quarter to reflect the impact of COVID-19. Netflix, which sits atop the streaming food chain, added another 10.1 million subscribers. Those gains pushed Netflix to nearly 193 million global customers and put the company on pace to surpass its 2020 subscriber goals by the end of the third quarter.
Hub’s new report found 23% of respondents said Netflix was the first TV source they go to — tops among all streamers and only 7% behind live television overall.
Disney+, meanwhile, pushed to 60.5 million customers by early August, which stood out because Disney had first projected the service would hit 60 to 90 million subscribers by 2024. And as TheWrap reported last month, Amazon Prime Video had the highest growth in new streaming subscriptions in Q2. (Although it should be mentioned Amazon Prime Video figures benefit from having Amazon Prime customers automatically receiving Prime’s streaming service.)
As viewers continue to stack services, Giegengack said there’s also an increasing need for “aggregators” like Roku and Amazon Fire TV to both watch and navigate all the content they pay for.
It’ll be worth seeing if subscriptions continued to grow at a healthy clip when Netflix and other streamers report their third quarter performance next month; the quarter will cover the bulk of summer, and will highlight whether viewers had grown a bit tired of adding subscriptions in an effort to find new content — or whether millions continued to stay on the couch due to the pandemic.
For Hub’s full report, click here.