The proportion of US households who have video streaming services has stalled at 86% (up 0.4% points quarter-on-quarter), after seeing substantial growth in the fourth quarter of 2021. This means there are now 110.2 million households accessing streaming services, as of March 2022, according to Kantar.
While flat overall, there are growth differences across the streaming tiers: SVOD (paid streaming without ads) is down 0.2% points to 81.4%, while AVOD (paid ad-supported streaming) grew by 2.2% points to 20.2% household penetration. On the other hand, FAST (free, ad supported streaming) grew by 0.9% points to 25.3%. According to Kantar, while AVOD and FAST streaming continues to grow, their growth slowed compared to their rapid growth in previous quarters. Meanwhile, live pay-TV is flat, continuing to have 60% of household penetration in the United States.
The report also revealed that 8% of US households accessed a new service in the first quarter, down from 9% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Amazon Prime Video is the top destination for new SVOD subscribers for the fourth consecutive quarter, but its share is down 3 percentage points quarter-on-quarter. HBO Max and Paramount+ saw the greatest rise in share of new subscribers, up to 12% and 9%, respectively. On the other hand, Netflix subscribers continue to shrink for the fifth consecutive quarter, seeing a decline in household penetration of 0.2% points quarter-on-quarter. This is a decline of 4 percentage points year-on-year.
Moreover, stacking has levelled off in the first quarter, seeing no growth in the average number of streaming services accessed per household. Across total streaming the average number remains 4.7 services, unchanged versus the fourth quarter. Within paid streaming, consumers are accessing 3.7 services per household, also unchanged vs the fourth quarter.
“Overall, the US may have reached peak stacking. Expect to see a greater rate of churn and switching as consumers are more selective about what they watch. For streaming platforms, now is the time to ensure they keep streamers engaged after they finish a piece of content through their easily navigable interface and content recommendations. As with CNN+, it may be more challenging for newer entrants to justify their value within the saturated market,” the report says.