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Poll: More Americans Stream Than Watch Traditional TV, 75% Subscribe to 2+ Services

Fern Siegel

Americans streaming habits are changing, according to a new Harris/Roku poll.

“Eight-five percent of Americans now stream, and for the first time ever, a majority of U.S. adults report they now spend more time streaming than they do watching traditional TV,” reports Roku Chief Marketing Officer Matthew Anderson.

Shifting media consumption has exploded this year, as the pandemic has resulted in soaring streaming stats.

The poll’s finding underscores that viewing models have changed. Average reported streaming hours increased 19 percent year-over-year, while average traditional TV viewing hours decreased 13 percent.
What’s notable is that streaming isn’t an add-on to viewing, it’s becoming the preferred option.

It’s also impacting purchasing.

Some 43 percent of consumers, including two-thirds of millennials surveyed, said seeing an ad on a streamer had them pause content and shop online.

Abbey Lunney, director of trends and thought leadership at The Harris Poll, calls it a “tipping point for the future of TV… This shift to streaming, in combination with other consumer insights into the new path to purchase, demonstrate how marketers need to adjust their engagement strategies.”

Research found 75 percent of streamers subscribed to two or more services; 47 percent subscribe to three or more.

The survey was conducted among 2,008 adults from September 3- 8, across various demographics: Gen X, millennials and baby boomers.