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Report: Streaming Gaining Viewers in All Demos, Reliance on Traditional TV Dips

Fern Siegel

Live linear TV is losing ground to streaming. That’s according to Hub Entertainment Research’s “Decoding the Default” report, which finds 2020 gaining streaming viewers in all demographics.

The pandemic has caused a surge in streaming, but the trend has been tilting away from traditional viewing and toward OTT-connected TV.

Specifically, Hub Research found only 14 percent of millennials and Gen Zers (18-34) chose live TV as their first viewing option. In 2019, 21 percent did so.

For viewers aged 35 to 54, it’s a 34 percent vs. 37 percent shift. And for baby boomers and those 55-plus, cable and broadcast companies have real worries: This demo picked live TV over subscription streaming and other options 46 percent of the time. In 2019, it was 53 percent.

No surprise in popularity: Netflix is the overall favorite — 23 percent claim it as the dominant choice. (The streamer said it added 10 million subscribers in Q2. Disney+ hit 60.5 million subscribers in early August.)

“Instead of reaching first for the cable remote when it comes time to watch TV, more and more consumers are defining TV viewing, first and foremost, as viewing on streaming services. Whether that shift persists once the pandemic crisis has passed is, of course, the billion-dollar question,” stated Hub principal analyst Peter Fondulas.

Hub Research surveyed 1,600 respondents between the ages of 16 and 74 with broadband access at home, who watch a minimum of 1 hour of TV per week.

An earlier Hub report this year found 28 percent of 3,000 consumers polled said they added at least one subscription to the big four streaming services — Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video — since February.

Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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