26 ENE 2021

US STREAMING SPIKES BY 24% SINCE THE PANDEMIC WAS DECLARED

Consumer in the region spend on streaming services rose to USD 47 per month at the end of December as the increasing number of newly established streaming services chip away at linear usage. Americans now subscribe to four streaming services on average, up from three at the beginning of the virus outbreak in 2020, with 24% more seeking on-demand.

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According to a new study from market research firm J.D. Power, the average US household spends an average of almost USD 50 per month on streaming services by the end of the year, as opposed to the USD 38 per month reported in an April survey. Since then, several high-profile streaming launches have taken place in the US, including WarnerMedia’s HBO Max in May and NBCUniversal’s Peacock in July, garnering 26 million subscribers within its first six months after launching.

According to the survey, 49% of Americans say they now subscribe to four streaming services on average, up from three by 39% at the beginning of the virus outbreak in 2020, with 24% more seeking on-demand. Approxiately 13% said they use seven or more services, up from 8% in April. Apple TV+ was subscribed to by 14% of respondents following the company's decision to extend its free trial following lack of content.

The most popular streamer amongst the respondents was Netflix, with 81% saying they use the Los Santos-based service. Mainstay Amazon Prime Video was second at 65% while Hulu was used by 56%. Of the newcomers, Disney+ is the clear leader, with 47% of the respondents using the streamer, while HBO Max and Peacock were at 22% and 18%. Looking at usage by age demographic, MoffettNathanson found Netflix remained dominant across the board, especially amongst younger users, while Hulu and Disney+ also slant to the younger side and need to figure out a way to attract older users. On the other hand, Amazon Prime Video and Peacock skew towards older demographics. At lower overall penetration levels, Apple TV+ and HBO Max were mostly steady across each age group.  Both services experienced meaningful divergences in the fourth quarter of 2020.

MoffettNathanson said that could be interpreted as there appearing to be the opportunity to expand consumer take-up of new platforms for cord-cutters if entry-level price points were low, as was the case with Disney+ and Hulu with ads. If anything, noted the analyst, the new incremental services appear to be chipping away at linear usage. That said, and similar to other recent surveys, MoffettNathanson saw struggles with Apple TV+ which it said was still “sputtering” compared with rivals.