Report: Netflix the Most Liked Across All Age Groups at 76%, Services Attract Subs with Single Titles
By now, every cord cutter has settled on a set of streaming services they keep in their regular respective rotations. Whether it’s exclusive content or even a single title that can be found on multiple services, there are a few SVODs that have become indispensable across all age groups.
Among the 1,601 TV consumers (ages 16-74) that Hub Entertainment Research surveyed for their 2022 Evolution of Branding report, the average number of TV sources (MVPD, vMVPD, SVOD, DTC, AVOD, OTA, etc.) per viewer was 5.7 in 2021, compared to 4.8. in 2020, 3.7 in 2019, and a low number of just three sources in 2018. Granted there weren’t a lot of choices four years ago, so that’s not much of a surprise.
Brand loyalty is certainly commonplace nowadays and streaming service providers are no different. Hub analysts are confident that this number won’t level off any time soon and “the majority of viewers intend to keep adding [to] their stack.”
When asked if a consumer would replace some current providers or keep them all, 72% planned to add new services as well as keep the ones that they already have. The other 28% said that they would replace current providers.
In addition, SVODs like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max are seen as the top five TV services that consumers aged 16-34 would keep. Answering the question “If you could only keep 5 networks/sources, which would you keep?” 43% of subscribers put Netflix as their No. 1 choice for an essential source of entertainment. Meanwhile, 33% said Hulu, 29% wanted to keep Amazon, and only 27% and 22% for Disney+ and HBO Max, respectively. All in all, it’s a “clean sweep” for streaming services when young viewers pick their five favorite TV sources.
Also, 33% of those who are 35 years old and older had Netflix as their main choice as well. Thus, Netflix is favored by 76% of viewers across all age groups 16 and up.
Pay-TV isn’t dead yet either as three out of the Big Four networks, CBS (26%), ABC (23%), and NBC (22%) were chosen in respondents’ top-five most-essential TV sources. Prime Video was chosen by 21% of the older demographic.
How do these streamers aim to stand out? The word of the day (or perhaps even the year): Content. Hub analysts wrote, “Services also try to lure viewers with exclusive, original shows — but now everyone has them.”
The number of scripted TV shows by year skyrocketed to almost 560 in 2021, a huge increase over the 288 shows in 2012. The year previous, 2020, had 493 shows and 2019 (pre-pandemic times) had 532. This means that 2021 not only has the most titles, rebounding significantly from COVID-19, but it breaks the overall record for most scripted TV shows released in a year. However, that doesn’t mean that the risk of churn isn’t out of the picture.
Churn is still a challenge for streaming services, no matter how successful their content may be. According to the report, roughly half of U.S. viewers who subscribed to Disney+ right after “Hamilton” was released as well as subscribers of HBO Max who only joined for “Wonder Woman 1984,” left in six months. Other areas of retention was when Netflix released the fourth season of “Big Mouth,” “Greyhound” for Apple TV+, “Handmaid’s Tale” season four on Hulu, and the Tokyo Olympics for Peacock.
When subscribing to a service, consumers have no shame in buying a monthly plan if it means getting to stream a single title. This was the case for 36% of viewers surveyed in 2022. Last year, 35% of consumers admitted they have added a service to their roster just to watch one show or movie. In 2020, 33% agreed.
Netflix is another winner for a Hub Research category. When asked “Which service did you sign up for in order to watch a specific show or movie,” Netflix drove the most content-specific subscriptions, at 18%, across five other SVOD. In total, 62% of viewers added a TV service to watch a single title.
Even though the marketplace has become overly saturated, there are always ways for streaming services to come out on top.