While Netflix and the concept of streaming movies and TV shows seemed like a foreign concept even a decade ago, new data suggests that it is one of the fastest growing methods of entertainment consumption.
According to the Q1 2016 Nielsen Total Audience Report, streaming video increased over 20% in the past year. More people are now watching television through streaming services, as for the first time the number of people with streaming subscriptions has surpassed 50% of US-based audiences.
Streaming video on-demand (SVOD) is now in the same number of households as DVRs, as 50% of people now use services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video for their nightly entertainment. Of most of the major entertainment consumption technologies, SVOD also saw the biggest jump, up nearly 20% year over year, and it seems well within reason that this number will only continue to spike, soon becoming just as ubiquitous as having a television in your home.
Not surprising was seeing a decline in the number of people who actively purchase DVD players, down 3% over the last year, along with video game consoles, also down 4%.
Live television just simply isn’t as convenient as streaming television, even during the live broadcast. For example, one common trend we have noticed is people opting to still tune in to their shows through proprietary services such as Paramount Plus or Sling TV to stream live TV instead of watching through their traditional cable subscriptions. While the most recent season of ‘Game of Thrones‘ was massive for HBO, it appears a growing portion of people aren’t watching through the main network, instead streaming it through services such as HBO Go and Now.
There is also an interesting trend in the value of viewership depending on the medium. Digital advertising revenue has not quite yet caught up with traditional broadcast and cable advertising revenue, making it difficult for content owners to monetize their television shows in ways that they are used to. The model that appears to be working best at the moment is the individual subscription model for networks like HBO and services like Hulu and Netflix. But as content prices continue to increase, we will be curiously watching to see if these services are able to maintain both the quality and quantity of titles available to subscribers.