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Survey: Young Adults Say There’s Not Enough Good Streaming Content

Lauren Forristal

With the given amount of content, streaming services, and a lot more time at home, you would think there wouldn’t be a problem with viewers preoccupying themselves with endless series and films. However, a recent survey from CivicScience proves otherwise.

CivicScience reports that out of 1,380 streaming subscribers, almost 30% of viewers feel they frequently run out of content to watch, whereas more than 30% of people say they only run out of content sometimes.

Comparing the leading streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max, nearly 70% of streamers complain about HBO Max having the most content shortage. The service with their content cup overflowing the most would have to be—you guessed it—Netflix, with a result of only 23% of viewers unable to search for interesting content. The recent success of “Squid Game” and another 2021 highlight, “Bridgerton,” shows just how valuable binge-worthy television is to subscribers.

Netflix’s success with its original content could also be by virtue of social media and the strong influence it possesses. Another CivicScience study back in August finds that most Netflix series gain popularity by “way of the online watercooler.” 83% of non-subscribers were not at all swayed by live tweets or internet memes.

Are streaming services losing the attention of their most vital audience?

The biggest culprit of unimpressed viewership? The answer lies with younger adults, more specifically, 80% of 18–29-year-olds. Half report a frequent lack of content, and the other says it’s just occasional disappointment. Either way, there’s a reason behind these results.

We also have this phenomenon of “churn and return,” an increasingly popular trend for young viewers who get bored with one subscription service and move on to the next one until they run out of content, thus, returning to the original service they were using to begin with.

Deloitte reports from their most recent Digital Media Trends study that 47% of Millennials and 34% of Gen Z have canceled and then resubscribed to the same streaming service within that same year. Gen X has a rate of 25%, while Boomers (6%) and Matures (3%) have lower rates.

It’s possible that the reason behind Gen Z’s higher streaming churn rates could be the constant daily uploads of Twitch streamers, YouTube vloggers, and Tik Tok dancers keeping them entertained instead. Either way, these overstimulated minds are becoming harder to stay engaged with just one form of entertainment.

So it’s obvious that Netflix and other streaming platforms are going to have to turn it up a notch if they’re going to remotely begin to dazzle young adults. Or, we may start to see original content catered to the older audiences as subscription services take on a new strategy.

There are a lot of factors that go into grabbing the attention of viewers, whether it be lack of representation in content, a lull in new or original series, not enough social media buzz, price of the subscription, or simply not enough content. Whatever it may be, streaming service companies need to step up to the plate and compete with all they got.

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