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Survey: Average Streaming Viewership Nears 11 Hours per Week, Nearly All Gen Z and Millennials Streaming

Chelsea Powers

Streaming continues to grab a larger chunk of our attention each day. According to a new Roku and The Harris Poll survey, the average viewer spends 10.7 hours watching streaming entertainment each week.

That’s a major change from just a few years ago. ​Pre-Covid (2018 and earlier) streaming hours averaged 5 hours a week, which jumped to 9.5 hours a week in 2020, and 10.5 in 2021.

It’s not just time spent that’s increasing. We’re also adding more services to our entertainment options. Today, 21% of us subscribe to 4+ streaming services. That’s a massive jump from just 2% in 2019.

This isn’t to say we’re keeping the same services all year long. Churning between services has become a key strategy to save money, with younger viewers especially keen to switch services when the mood strikes. Over half of U.S. Millennials (52%) and Gen Z (51%) admit to having canceled (or both added and canceled) a video subscription service within the last six months.

Despite their reputation for destroying industries, 6 in 10 members of Gen Z subscribed to at least one new streaming service in the past year. Just 43% of Gen Z participants say they identify as cord-cutters, even though 98% of the same audience had recently streamed content.

Among parents surveyed, 44% say they watch free ad-supported streaming services. That segment of the industry continues to show strong growth with services like Tubi, Pluto TV, and Roku Channel leading the way. More media companies are getting into the act, with Warner Bros. Discovery even considering a free streaming service for its classic movie library.

Many great streaming services also offer free trials, which may contribute to churn and adoption of these new platforms. As more services emerge and the appetite for streaming grows, audiences have more options to choose from. But with the vast majority unwilling to sign up for more than four services, the competition to be on that shortlist is ferocious.

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