Online services are increasingly becoming the number one source for US viewers | Media analysis | Business | New

A study by Hub Entertainment Research found further evidence that TV consumers are most loyal to the TV service they consider their viewing base.
Hub’s latest Decoding the Default study – conducted in August 2022 among 1,600 US broadband consumers, ages 16-74, who watch at least 1 hour of TV per week – found that across all viewer base, live TV from a traditional pay TV system – TV service remains the most common first viewing stop, with 28% noting that linear channels from a cable, satellite TV subscription or telco are their TV base.

However, he also found that SVOD leader Netflix came in second at 23%, while no other individual source hit double digits. Additionally, the study pointed out, however, live TV has steadily declined as a default source over the past seven years and is at its lowest point since we began measuring default sources.

Even though traditional television direct maintained a slim lead as the main single source by default, online sources generally dominate traditional pay television sources in general. This dominance has increased since 2021: 57% have made an online source their TV, compared to 55% in 2021, while 38% opt by default for a source from a pay-TV set-top box: live, DVR or VOD, the latter down. from 39%.

That said, Hub also observed that Netflix hit a default saturation point in 2018 (23%) and has been fluctuating around that level ever since. In contrast, the other major streaming subscription services were found to have made more consistent gains. While no single competing service in the so-called Big 5 group came close to leading Netflix, in combination they were only 7 points behind.

The study also noted that the decline in linear viewing for traditional pay-TV services was not helped when considering linear services from virtual MVPDs, in fact showing an even steeper decline for online TV. direct in general as a first stop for television. Hub noted that the percentage of first turn to vMVPD has not exceeded 6% since it began measuring in 2015 and that overall the default percentage to any live TV subscription is not than 32% in 2022, 3 points less than in 2021 and 7 points less than in 2019.

Another key finding was that the choice of default service varied significantly by age. Among 18-34 year olds, 38% make Netflix their first viewing choice, more than 3 times the proportion who default to a traditional live source. However, half of those 55+ first turned to linear pay-TV channels, more than 5 times those who made Netflix their first viewing stop.

When consumers are asked which of the TV services they currently have they would keep if they had to drop all but one service, among all subscribers to a traditional pay-TV service or to each of the Big 5 SVOD, between 8 % and 37% each as the service they would cling to if they had to give up everyone else.

“At a time when the typical television consumer uses an average of 7.4 different sources of television content, mere market penetration of a service is no longer a reliable measure of a service’s long-term success,” said Peter Fondulas, director at Hub and co. -author of the Decoding the Default report. “A much better predictor is how engaged consumers are with each service they have, and in particular, what they consider their television viewing base.”

Veronica J. Snell