Americans watching a 'lot more' TV, pointing to new streaming normal - study
- Of all the changes to various industries in the work-from-home/play-from home COVID-19 pandemic, the degree of change to one in particular stands out: just how much television everyone's been watching.
- A February study from Hub Research indicates 77% of people saying they're watching more TV than before the pandemic, with 42% saying "a lot more."
- That 77% is up even from the 70% saying so in November, and 69% saying so in July.
- And that viewer pressure has added urgency to the voracious need for content from existing streaming services as well as a rash of new high-profile competitors.
- Hub says it's trying to find which pandemic-induced changes in TV behavior will persist post-COVID-19, and says the new wave of its study suggests Americans are "ready to embrace a new, streaming-centric normal."
- The percentage of people who have added at least one subscription rose from 28% last July to 44% in February. That offsets the 25% of people who say they have dropped at least one subscription.
- And when it comes to competition not for library content but for live offerings, overall, the number of respondents who subscribe to some kind of live television streaming service has jumped year-over-year - to 21% from a year-ago 11% - at the expense of the traditional TV bundle (down to 62% from a year-ago 70%).
- As for the big-library services, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) remains the leader. Some 71% of survey respondents reported having a subscription, vs. 51% for Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ:AMZN); 42% for Disney Plus (NYSE:DIS); 41% for Hulu (DIS); and 31% for HBO Max (NYSE:T), though that HBO Max figure has jumped from November's 18%.
- Meanwhile, not all of this is attributable to the pandemic. The study found that some 89% now say they would have cut cable/satellite/telco service even if COVID-19 had never happened.
- Pay TV providers: Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR), DirecTV/U-verse (T), Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), Verizon FiOS (NYSE:VZ), Optimum/Suddenlink (NYSE:ATUS), Atlantic Broadband (OTCPK:CGEAF), Sparklight (NYSE:CABO).