Skip to Content

Survey: Video Streaming Increasingly Popular on Mass Transit

David Satin

Traveling can be a pain, but the numerous types of media that commuters can enjoy in order to pass the time have certainly made it easier. There are more ways to distract yourself when traveling than ever before, and a new survey by Hub Research shows which methods tech users are most reliant on when traveling.

The survey found that users of mass transit were more likely to pick free video streaming than they were to utilize a subscription music streaming service like Apple Music or Tidal. That’s especially impressive considering many mass transit vehicles, such as buses and trains, do not offer free wi-fi to passengers. That means users have to rely on their data and take their chances with shoddy video streams in low-signal areas, but would still rather do so than pay to listen to music.

The survey also found that streaming video has become an indispensable part of air travel. Subscription streaming video was found to be the fourth most-used medium on airliners, behind books, personal music downloads, and subscription music streaming services.

The popularity of streaming video during air travel is likely a big reason that more services are partnering with airlines to offer content. In December 2022, JetBlue announced an agreement with Peacock to show a selection of Peacock original shows on seatback screens in its fleet, and offer special discounts to the service. In early January, Delta struck a deal to offer its Loyalty members free Paramount+ Premium while flying.

Video streaming is also highly important to travelers once they’ve gotten where they’re going. Streaming was the third-most important entertainment service hotel rooms should offer, according to Hub’s survey, behind local broadcast and cable channels. Nine out of 10 respondents to Hub also said in-room wi-fi was “essential” or “very important,” suggesting that many users would rather stream video on their personal device instead of an in-room smart TV, and consider strong wi-fi necessary for doing so.

That preference may change if streaming services start to partner with hotels, as they have with airlines. Having free access to Netflix or HBO Max while staying at specific hotel chains would give users an excellent entertainment option, and they could avoid privacy concerns by not having to enter their individual login credentials on a public device if they want to stream their favorite service on a hotel room TV.

DIRECTV STREAM Cash Back

Let us know your e-mail address to send your $50 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for DIRECTV STREAM.

You will receive it ~2 weeks after you complete your first month of service.

Sling TV Cash Back

Let us know your e-mail address to send your $25 Uber Eats Gift Card when you sign up for Sling TV.

You will receive it ~2 weeks after you complete your first month of service.

Hulu Live TV Cash Back

Let us know your e-mail address to send your $35 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for Hulu Live TV.

You will receive it ~2 weeks after you complete your first month of service.