The proportion of US households who have a video subscription has risen to 85% (up two percentage points quarter on quarter, and up two percentage points year on year), after two consecutive quarters of decline. This means there are now 109.4 million households with subscriptions, as of December 2021, Kantar revealed.
Video streaming quarter-on-quarter penetration growth is primarily coming from Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST) and Advertising-based Video On Demand (AVOD) tiers, with FAST growing 4.9 percentage points, AVOD 3.6 percentage points, and SVOD 1.8 percentage points quarter on quarter.
Meanwhile, the research firm discovered that livestream also grew by 0.7 percentage points and is now present in 10% of households in the United States. At the same time, the report revealed that Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD) is now the size of FAST as of the fourth quarter of 2021, and 9% of US households accessed a new service in Q4 2021, up from 8% in Q3 2021.
Regarding platforms, Amazon Prime Video is the number one destination for new SVOD subscribers for the third consecutive quarter, but its share is down 4 percentage points quarter on quarter. The Netflix subscriber base is now below two thirds of US subscribers, as penetration continues to decline quarter on quarter by 0.5 percentage points, despite the success of “Squid Game”. This is a decline of 5% points year-on-year.
With the success of “Yellowstone,” the topmost enjoyed and recommended content in the fourth quarter of 2021, Paramount+ gains share of new users (now at 8% of all new streaming). Peacock, which has the back catalogue to “Yellowstone,” also benefited in the AVOD and FAST space. Apple TV+, which saw growth due to “Ted Lasso” in Q3 and Q4 2021, is now facing higher planned cancellation going into Q1 2022. The average household now uses 4.7 services.
“The first quarter of 2022 can expect to see more fluctuation of subscribers as stacking continues to grow and planned cancellation rates are up across the board. Streamers feel they can get better quality content from FAST than before, which may have negative implications for paid streaming. As the US passes the next wave of Covid-19, overall streaming screen time may start to decline,” the report noted.