Consumers are overwhelmed by streaming options, but aren't cutting back

Posted:
in General Discussion
The vastness of content choices on streaming platforms is becoming overwhelming for U.S. consumers, though new data suggests that they have no plans to cut back.

Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash
Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash


Nearly half of all streaming service users in the U.S. -- 46% -- say they feel overwhelmed by the amount of programming available, according to a new "State of Play" report by analytics firm Nielsen.

The numbers don't lie when it comes to choices. Nielsen says that there are 817,000 unique programs across various streaming services, including TV series, movies, specials, and more. That's a 26.5% increase of nearly 171,000 titles since the end of 2019.

Despite that, consumer appetite for content is still going strong. According to the survey, 72% of Americans say that they love their user experience with video streaming services. A majority -- 93% -- said they either plan to expand the services they use or make no changes to their existing subscriptions.

The increase in streaming service choices has also driven a rise in time spent watching content. Consumption of streaming content reached 169.4 billion minutes in February 2022, an 18% year-over-year increase. Streaming accounted for 28% of total TV usage in the past 10 months.

With the amount of choices, users want an option that makes finding and viewing content from different services easier. 64% of respondents said they'd be interested in a bundled service that allows them to access different platforms, but only if they were able to choose which ones.

The survey was based on a sample of 1,394 U.S. adults aged 18 and over. It was conducted in English between Dec. 2021 and January 2022 via online survey.

Read on AppleInsider
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    OctoMonkeyOctoMonkey Posts: 261member
    I am in the minority on both fronts...  I do not love the experience and plan on reducing my streaming services from one to none (adios Apple TV+).  This also reflects my general distaste in paying for TV.  I cancelled my cable service 15 years ago and have not missed it (nor have I missed the bills!).
    M68000DAalsethradarthekat
  • Reply 2 of 23
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,010member
    I am in the minority on both fronts...  I do not love the experience and plan on reducing my streaming services from one to none (adios Apple TV+).  This also reflects my general distaste in paying for TV.  I cancelled my cable service 15 years ago and have not missed it (nor have I missed the bills!).
    So no TV at all? Just DVDs? I don’t blame you, especially with cable and the larger streaming services. I get some services included in my Verizon cellular plan and have found some free services with old movies. Better to get outside and do something instead of watching TV. 
    Japhey
  • Reply 3 of 23
    M68000M68000 Posts: 486member
    “Television is chewing gum for the eyes” - Frank Lloyd Wright

    one of many great Wright quotes.   The point being,  be careful how you spend your time when you could be doing other things. That said,  having streaming services is a good thing. But it’s only worth so much time and money.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    OctoMonkeyOctoMonkey Posts: 261member
    rob53 said:
    I am in the minority on both fronts...  I do not love the experience and plan on reducing my streaming services from one to none (adios Apple TV+).  This also reflects my general distaste in paying for TV.  I cancelled my cable service 15 years ago and have not missed it (nor have I missed the bills!).
    So no TV at all? Just DVDs? I don’t blame you, especially with cable and the larger streaming services. I get some services included in my Verizon cellular plan and have found some free services with old movies. Better to get outside and do something instead of watching TV. 
    We do watch some broadcast TV (news and such), but all those years ago my wife and I decided to cancel cable when we realized almost all our TV time was spent watching locally broadcast content (and for me it coincided with SciFi going off the deep end with their content).

    Several years back I decided to stop being bothered with stacks of discs and set-up a Plex server - still have the discs, we just don't have to sort through them or look at piles of them.  We have a very diverse selection of movies & television shows (DVD/Blu-Ray/4K) on the server and do not need to worry about something being removed from our "service" or paying any monthly fees.  Although both the implementation cost and ongoing operational cost (electricity) is a consideration

    But yes, go outside and enjoy the beauty of nature, read a book, or play a board game with your friends/family!
    rob53watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    ApplePoorApplePoor Posts: 167member
    One can suddenly realize that the incremental adding of another streaming service can make the total monthly bill for viewing choices far more expensive than the local cable service that probably also provides the internet access. Unfortunately, where we live, there is only one cable provider and one telephone provider. There is NO competition so their rates go up on whims because their service sure has not gotten any better.

    We fired the telephone company (which could also provide slow DSL) because they just never had time to fix our line. The noise was so loud it was unusable. If one traces the money back, the culprit is basically AT&T.

    When true Verizon 5G gets to us, the cable company that we get internet service from will be gone too.

    The USA is getting ripped off by the fee schedules as compared to other countries. We had an apartment in the UK and there was a choice of many providers at different price points even though there was only one set of wires coming into the home.
    edited April 6 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,214member
    I am in the minority on both fronts...  I do not love the experience and plan on reducing my streaming services from one to none (adios Apple TV+).  This also reflects my general distaste in paying for TV.  I cancelled my cable service 15 years ago and have not missed it (nor have I missed the bills!).
    I don't really watch TV at all. My partner does though. We seem to have adopted a 'serial subscription' model. We were on Netflix. When that content seemed to get stale, we dropped them and went to Acorn. When we'd done that for a while we dropped them and got Paramount. They changed their offerings so we dropped them and are now on BritBox. We've had at most two services at a time, but if we find we aren't using one, it's gone. 
    OctoMonkeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,895member
    What cannot continue will not.  

    Some of these streamers simply cannot survive.  Others are bound to consolidate through mergers and sales (HBO and Discovery+ and CNN+, for example).  Then we have unknowns, like Peacock.  It has 9 million paid subscribers, but 7 more million as part of cable TV subs.  They are planning on investing billions to make it work.  They better, or they aren't going to make it.  I subscribed a few months ago to watch Yellowstone, but I've barely used it.  We'll see if I keep it.  I don't think Apple TV+ is going anywhere.  They've got deep pockets, a low price and a growing library of award winning content.  

    We're at the point where we are approaching saturation.  Some smaller services like Fox Nation are growing quickly, but still very small.  Middling services like AMC+ have decent numbers, but don't seem to be growing much.  Then there is the impact on the big boys...Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.  Netflix's price increases and growing dependence on original content put it at risk.  Gone are the days where if you wanted to stream a show, it was almost always found there.  Amazon Prime is raising prices too, but that includes Prime shipping, so I doubt there will be much of a negative impact.  Disney+ (excluding ESPN+) was a juggernaut, but has slowed and may slow much further with how they've stepped in it, politically.  My understanding is they've had a lot of cancelations since their stance on the FL bill and the leaked zoom call where execs openly discussed adding "queerness" everywhere they can (as well as a "not-so-secret gay agenda").   Disney is probably big enough and receptive enough to investors that it will quickly turn it around.  


    OctoMonkeyJapheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    OctoMonkeyOctoMonkey Posts: 261member
    ApplePoor said:
    One can suddenly realize that the incremental adding of another streaming service can make the total monthly bill for viewing choices far more expensive than the local cable service that probably also provides the internet access. Unfortunately, where we live, there is only one cable provider and one telephone provider. There is NO competition so their rates go up on whims because their service sure has not gotten any better.

    We fired the telephone company (which could also provide slow DSL) because they just never had time to fix our line. The noise was so loud it was unusable. If one traces the money back, the culprit is basically AT&T.

    When true Verizon 5G gets to us, the cable company that we get internet service from will be gone too.

    The USA is getting ripped off by the fee schedules as compared to other countries. We had an apartment in the UK and there was a choice of many providers at different price points even though there was only one set of wires coming into the home.
    Where I live 5G simply won't happen, the population density is too low...  so we are stuck with whatever alternative we can find.  When we purchased this house I did try a wireless (not cellular) internet service, but the distance to the towers was too great and would have required a giant mast to get the antenna high enough to clear the trees.  DSL is too slow in our area and so we were left with cable.  Plenty fast, but the price is an outrage!  However, once Comcast started offering cellular my opinion changed.  We are saving more each month with their cellular service (over our Verizon service) than we are paying to Comcast in total...  and if I add in the savings over switching our POTS line to a Comcast VoIP it's even better.  I think our total monthly outlay to Comcast is around $120 which includes 300/20 broadband, home telephone service, and 5 cellular lines.  Our Verizon bill was around $130 for 3 cell phones and two kids cellular watches, it would have gone up to $160+ with 5 cell phones.

    If I had an "Easy" button, I would press it!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    ITGUYINSDITGUYINSD Posts: 403member
    We have most of the streaming services (mostly for my wife as I only watch news and few seasons of shows).  I am very frugal when it comes to deciding if I want to pay the price.  Some I live off of free trials.  Others, I get on deals (Paramount+ for 57 cents total for 18 months), some we pay full pop for (ATV+, Netflix, PBS) and others (Amazon Video and HBOMax) we get for free with something we already pay for.  Discovery+ I got in on a $50/yr w/ads deal.  All-in-all, we pay less than DirecTV was (with all their fees and add-ons and HD and DVR fees, etc.).

    We also have YouTube TV after we canned 20+ years of DirecTV, but find we watch about 2 channels (plus locals), so trying to figure that one out.  I don't want to lose locals, but they aren't worth $60/mo either.

    Oh, and for those who judge, we DO get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.  ;)
    edited April 6 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Most of it is junk. It's baby stting... sleeping pill media. 
    Japheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    Getting old. None of the streaming stuff appeals to me and the last time I watched anything on prime time network TV was the 2015-16 season.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    SpitbathSpitbath Posts: 47member
    Wow! Did I just wander into a comments section for crotchety boomers or what?!
    tenthousandthingsrandominternetpersonretrogustowatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 23
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,214member
    I wouldn't be surprised if eventually a company will start up that will subscribe to all of these services. Then for a monthly fee they will run a cable to your house and you can see all of them on a bunch of different channels. 

    LOL
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    thttht Posts: 4,500member
    One of the best streaming purchases I've made in a while is $120 per year for Tennis Channel. Can watch on Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and probably the website. Nice purchase. There are still cable TV rights issues with the semifinals, finals matches not being streamed, but you get to see all the early rounds, live and on-demand, and the late round matches on-demand. Then, there is the back catalog of matches.

    This model will survive. With the "https" world, it's a worldwide market of something like 5 billion people. I think services will only need hundreds of thousands of subscribers at $100/yr to sustain it. Out of 5 billion people, there are likely 100k+ paying subscribers for virtually anything. So, the big streamers may consolidate, but there are going to be streaming packages for virtually everything that can squeak in between free Youtube and the big streamer. Some IP can most certainly survive on its own. Star Trek most certainly can survive as its own streaming package. Sports definitely. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 23
    With streaming we finally have the equivalent of a-la-carte cable TV. I do not think, however, that consumers really save money, if they choose a selection one streaming plans that would duplicate what they typically watch through their cable TV provider.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,006member
    kanopy.com
  • Reply 17 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,395member
    Such is the nature of subscriptions in general. When you get dinged a fairly small amount every month you don’t think about the cost too much. At some point everything that’s consumable in our lives will be subscription based. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    OctoMonkeyOctoMonkey Posts: 261member
    dewme said:
    Such is the nature of subscriptions in general. When you get dinged a fairly small amount every month you don’t think about the cost too much. At some point everything that’s consumable in our lives will be subscription based. 
    That's what my wife keeps telling me...  and what's THAT going to cost me per month?!?!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    M68000 said:
    “Television is chewing gum for the eyes” - Frank Lloyd Wright

    one of many great Wright quotes.   The point being,  be careful how you spend your time when you could be doing other things. That said,  having streaming services is a good thing. But it’s only worth so much time and money.
    Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the last people to ask about user-centered anything. 
    OctoMonkeydewmeSpitbath
  • Reply 20 of 23
    oldcastle said:
    Most of it is junk. It's baby stting... sleeping pill media. 
    They said, making comments in a website article.  
    Spitbath
Sign In or Register to comment.