Analysis: Over 80% of Consumers Want Unified Streaming Platform as March Toward Aggregation Continues
It has been clear for some time that aggregation is a big part of the future for the streaming industry. There are simply too many subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services to choose from, and some offer such niche content that they cannot possibly pull in enough paid subscribers to become profitable.
A new report from business strategy and analytics firm Accenture demonstrates the easiest steps that streaming companies can take toward effective aggregation. The report found that 86% of respondents wanted a single service that would bring together all of their basic personal information and show them content recommendations from across all of the streaming services that they subscribe to at once.
This would not necessarily entail folding multiple streamers into one, rather, it would gather recommendations for shows and movies from Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, etc., and display them on one home screen, which could also include music and game recommendations as well. Such a page could also serve as the home of the user’s individual profile, which could be shared between each streaming service instead of having individual usernames and passwords on each platform. Sixty-one percent of respondents to Accenture said that they’d prefer the ability to have a single profile across multiple services than the current, siloed setup.
These steps wouldn’t bring about more aggregation of streaming services overnight, but they would allow streamers to combat a big source of customer friction: finding content. Currently, 72% of streaming customers say that they grow frustrated trying to find something to watch, and 55% are overwhelmed by the number of streaming services to choose from.
That means that while audiences have more content to pick from than ever before, they can’t easily find new things that they want to watch. Customers are attempting to solve this issue with cross-service search engines, which 68% of streaming watchers used last year to find the show or movie they wanted. But with 26% of users needing 10 minutes or more to settle on a choice, it’s clear those options aren’t always successful.
A glut of content isn’t the only reason that consumers are increasingly desirous of aggregation: price. At a rate of 39%, consumers said that they would be decreasing their spending on SVOD services in the next year. Ad-supported streaming, which exchanges a lower price point for commercials during viewing, is on the rise as 52% of users reported increasing their use of completely ad-supported video services in the last year.
These data points provide a clear path forward for any streaming service that wants to ensure its viability over the next five years. To start, they should do what Netflix and Disney+ have done in 2022: make ad-supported price tiers available alongside their ad-free options. Customers value the ability to choose, and other surveys have demonstrated that such “hybrid” video-on-demand (HVOD) services attract more users and do a better job of retaining them.
Streaming services should also allow their content to be aggregated by centralized platforms that generate content recommendations for all services and shows these recommendations to users. Some executives might be leery about helping consumers find content on competing streaming services, but 41% of customers say they’d be willing to pay for such an app, which would sweeten the pot for media companies.
Sooner or later, the dominos in the streaming industry will start to fall; there simply aren’t enough customers willing to pay to make every streaming service profitable, and the market does not reward growing subscriber numbers at all costs the way that it used to. Aggregation is the future of streaming, and services can take smaller steps now to ensure they are prepared for that future.